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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Since it’s inception five years ago Cisco’s Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) offerings have consistently driven positive technical and business value for our customers at many levels, some examples:

• Cisco UCS regularly delivers top-level performance as showcased via our leading benchmarking results.

• In their datacenters our customers have recognized material gains in operational efficiency with substantial benefits in provisioning, deployment, management, and staffing.

• In their physical environments customer value is derived in lowered heating, cooling, space, and cabling advantages.

The trend continues… Cisco UCS is the gift that keeps on giving! In a recent third party survey we were able to gather insight on the benefits received by customer’s use of our Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure Solution for Big Data. Here’s an overview:

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http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/the-business-value-of-cisco-big-data-solutions

It’s done and dusted. Since someday last month, everything Netflix does runs on Amazon Web Services, from streaming video to managing its employee and customer data.

In early January, whatever little bits of Netflix that were still running somewhere in a non-Amazon data center were shut down, Yuri Izrailevsky, the company’s VP of cloud and platform engineering, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

To be sure, most of Netflix had already been running in the cloud for some time, including all customer-facing applications. Netflix has been one of the big early adopters of AWS who famously went all-in with public cloud. Thursday’s announcement simply marks the completion of a seven-year process of transition from a data center-based infrastructure model to a 100-percent cloud one.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/02/11/netflix-shuts-down-final-bits-of-own-data-center-infrastructure/

(TNS) -- The FBI still cannot unlock the encrypted cellphone of one of the San Bernardino shooters more than two months after the California terrorist attack.

FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that his agency’s inability to access the information in the retrieved phone is an example of the effect on law enforcement of the growing use of encryption technology.

Comey said the problem of “going dark” is overwhelmingly affecting law enforcement at all levels.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Encrypted-Phone.html

aul Lachance is President of Smartware Group.

As the the world becomes increasingly dependent on the Internet, data centers have come to power our everyday lives. In fact, the average US consumer spends roughly six hours a day online. When a data center goes down, it can negatively impact everything from professional and personal communications to finances and travel.

The financial implications of data center downtime are outrageous. Organizations lose an average of $138,000 for one hour of downtime. To put this in perspective, Amazon stands to lose $1,104 for every second Amazon.com is down. What’s more, 59 percent of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours of downtime per week, which could lead to a loss of $46 million in labor costs annually.

According to the Uptime Institute, human error causes almost three-fourths of all data center outages. However, many other factors like cybercrime, natural disasters or flaws within the data centers themselves can also cause downtime. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a squirrel chewing through a cable can cause major damage to a data center.

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http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/02/11/curb-data-center-downtime-predictive-maintenance/

OXFORD, Miss. — If disaster survivors in Mississippi apply for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it’s important for them to submit an SBA loan application to ensure that the federal disaster recovery process continues.

If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be considered for FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program. The program helps meet essential needs like medical and dental care, funeral costs and transportation expenses.

Next to insurance, an SBA loan is the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and replacing lost contents following a disaster. Homeowners may be eligible for low interest loans up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding.

When applying for an SBA loan, survivors should start the process as soon as possible:

  • Do not wait on an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. Survivors can begin their recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by the insurance settlement. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.
  • Survivors should complete and return the applications as soon as possible. Failure to complete and submit the home disaster loan application may stop the FEMA grant process. Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not offered a loan may be considered for certain other FEMA grants and programs that could include assistance for disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items and other expenses.
  • SBA can help renters replace their important personal items. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
  • SBA can help businesses and private nonprofit organizations with up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, and other business assets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.
  • Survivors don’t have to accept the loan if they qualify for one. Survivors who don’t qualify could be eligible for more assistance from FEMA and other organizations.

March 4, 2016, is the last day survivors can register with FEMA and apply for an SBA disaster loan for physical damage. Oct. 4, 2016, is the last day a small business or private, nonprofit organization may apply for an economic injury disaster loan.

Survivors can submit their SBA loan applications one of two ways: online at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela or by mailing their paper application to:

U.S. Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center

14925 Kingsport Rd.

Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

For additional information about SBA low-interest disaster loans, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting sba.gov/disaster

Survivors who haven’t yet registered with FEMA can do so online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362, which is video relay service accessible. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficulty speaking may call TTY 800-462-7585.

For more information on Mississippi disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4248 and www.msema.org.

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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.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

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

 
State/Tribal Government or Region: 

There aren’t too many people in enterprise circles that want the cloud to fail. Even the system vendors who stand to lose lucrative revenue streams are still pulling for the cloud, if only to get in on the ground floor of the new data reality.

But there are many degrees to both success and failure, so it isn’t always clear one way or the other, particularly in large, complex systems like data infrastructure.

From today’s vantage point, however, it appears that the cloud is a success, but with caveats. While it has gone a long way toward simplifying and streamlining data infrastructure, it also presents new challenges as reliance on cloud services grows and data becomes more distributed on third-party infrastructure.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/tips-to-achieving-a-successful-cloud-strategy.html

The increasing likelihood of a data breach

How likely are you to suffer an unwanted intrusion within your IT systems? The majority of business decision makers admit their organization will suffer an information security breach, and that the cost of recovery could start from around $1 million. This is according to a new report by NTT Com Security.

The Risk:Value Report 2016 noted that while 54% of those surveyed say information security is vital to their business and nearly a fifth (18%) agree that poor information security is the single greatest risk, two-thirds (65%) predict their organisation will suffer a data breach at some point in the future. Perhaps the latter is not surprising given that only around one in five (22%) respondents claimed that all of their organization’s data is completely secure.

From this it is clear to see why cyber attacks and data breaches rank as the top two threats to organizations, as highlighted in the Business Continuity Institute's latest Horizon Scan Report. The vast majority of respondents to a global survey (85% and 80% respectively) expressed concern about the prospect of these threats materialising.

Respondents to the Risk:Value survey estimated that, on average, a breach would take nine weeks to recover from, and would cost $907,053. This is before any cost of reputational damage, brand erosion and lost business are taken into consideration. Decision makers estimate that around a fifth (19%) of their company’s remediation costs would be spent on legal fees, 18% on compensation to customers, 15% on third party resources and 15% on fines or compliance costs. Other expected remediation costs include PR and communications and compensation to suppliers and employees.

Garry Sidaway, SVP Security Strategy and Alliances at NTT Com Security, commented: “Attitudes to the real impact of security breaches have started to change, and this is no surprise given the year we have just had. We’ve seen household brands reeling from the effects of major data breaches, and struggling to manage the potential damage to their customers’ data – and the cost to their reputation.

(TNS) - Sun-starved Midwesterners headed to balmy areas known to have Zika-carrying mosquitoes are being urged to cover up — with protective clothing and bug spray — to help prevent transmission of the virus.

“Long sleeves, long pants, liberal use of mosquito repellent,” said Dr. Diane Gorgas, an emergency physician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center who also provides care in Haiti. “The biggest to-do is avoid bites.”

Although no locally transmitted cases have been reported in the continental United States, Zika has been diagnosed in more than three dozen returning travelers, including two northeast Ohio residents who became ill in January.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/Health-officials-urge-expectant-couples-to-avoid-Zika-active-areas.html

(TNS) - Twenty years ago today, thousands of Yakima Valley residents were scrambling to deal with raging floodwaters that destroyed homes and stranded entire communities.

A flood of once-in-a-century proportion inundated homes from Nile to Toppenish, first sending residents scrambling for sandbags and later raising questions about how best to prepare for future floods in a region where nearly every town and city has been built along rivers or in floodplains.

It began when warm storms dumped rain on deep snows across the region — 11 inches of rain hit the Yakima River’s headwaters near Snoqualmie Pass in just three days — sending so much water, ice and debris down the river and its tributaries on Feb. 9, 1996, that it spilled over its banks by more than 6 feet at Union Gap.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Yakima-Countys-flood-of-1996----could-it-happen-again.html

Federal assistance for local governments and nonprofit agencies damaged by historic flooding in late December and early January now will be available.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday approved Gov. Jay Nixon's request to expand the federal major disaster declaration for Missouri to include assistance for response and recovery expenses for governments and nonprofits in 37 counties, including Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Barry and Lawrence.

Major rains and flooding between Dec. 23 and Jan. 9 caused an estimated $41 million in damage to infrastructure, destroyed or damaged nearly 1,000 homes, and led to 16 deaths across Missouri, the governor's office said.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/FEMA-expands-assistance-to-governments-nonprofits.html