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Volume 29, Issue 1

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With the rise of in-memory computing it turns out that eight-socket x86 servers are now one of the fastest growing classes of infrastructure technologies in the data center. Big Data analytics applications that need to be processed in real time in particular lend themselves well to eight-socket servers that allow applications to more economically scale up.

With that in mind Hewlett-Packard Enterprise today unveiled a new eight-socket x86 server based on Intel Xeon E7-8800 v3 series processors. Dubbed the HPE Integrity MC990 X Server, it can be configured with up to 6TB of memory. The HPE Integrity MC990 X Server makes all that memory addressable using SGI interconnect technology that HPE has licensed to provide a coherent shared memory architecture that makes it possible for as many as 144 processors in the system to access memory directly.



Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00

Data Privacy in the Post Safe Harbor Era

Since the invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement in October—the agreement that allowed the transfer of data to and from the European Union to the U.S. under EU privacy laws—governments, organizations and individuals have been waiting to hear about the potential alternative framework. This week, U.S. and European officials have jointly agreed to a new framework dubbed the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

The challenge has been whether the U.S. and EU officials can come up with a comprehensive agreement that both parties will be happy with. That’s why it’s taken almost two years to get to where we are today and why it might have taken longer, had the European high court not struck down the original Safe Harbor agreement late last year.

The good news is that we are finally receiving direction after being left in limbo for several months now. This week’s data pact deal was a significant milestone in the negotiations; though there are still some hurdles to overcome, it’s a start down a meaningful path.



Films like Star Wars, Mission Impossible or Matrix, to mention the most famous, have always showed us scenes where personal identification, especially to access reserved areas, is verified by means of voice or some other physical traits. Science fiction? Not always.

Biometric identification, this is its name, is a computer-controlled analysis that identifies an individual by measuring some biological traits scanned by sensors and by matching them with the data stored in a database.

Historically, biometric identification dates back to 1870 when a Frenchman, Alphonse Bertillon, started to use it in a Paris prison for registering and identifying all detainees. Today, biometrics is strongly increasing and the integration of biometric technologies in mobile devices is helping this sector significantly. According to a study by Acuity Market Intelligence, mobile biometric systems’ turnover will reach in 2020 33.3 billion USD, with 4.76 billion of mobile devices enabled to biometric detections. This technology is now used to control physical and logical access and, since 9/11 2001, has been increasingly used also in police checks (e.g. airports).



Launch of a new Business Continuity Institute India Chapter

The Business Continuity Institute is delighted to announce that the board has just approved the formation of a new BCI India Chapter which becomes the 10th BCI chapter worldwide. The formation of this chapter builds on the work of the existing Indian BCI forums in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi, and will create new opportunities to raise the awareness of business continuity and resilience in the region.

The chapter informally has been working over the last year towards setting up existing forums and hosting knowledge sharing sessions. Now they have exciting plans for this year and the future, with a series of professional development and networking events, webinars, annual conference and an awareness raising programme around the importance of BCI certification for aspiring professionals.

R Vaidhyanathan (popularly known as RV) MBCI, President of the new BCI India Chapter, commented: “There can be no better time for the formal launch of the BCI India Chapter as the importance of BCM and visibility has been increasing since the recent Deluge in Chennai. We have been working hard to setup this chapter since late 2014 and now we are there. This is an exciting development and a step forward in the maturity of the BCM and BCI in India. I am delighted that the BCI is showing this commitment to the region which will allow us to really enhance the level of importance of BCM while sensitizing the leadership of organizations in different domains through various BCI activities in India. This will help in growing the number of BCI members who take their professional development seriously, thereby raising the standards of business continuity management and resilience in India. It may not be complete if I don't thank David West of the BCI, who has been with us to extend his support right through the journey and Vaidy Chandramouli AMBCI, Secretary of the BCI Chennai Forum, now the Secretary of the BCI India Chapter, for doing all the leg work and coordination.

BCI Membership Support Manager, David West CBCI, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the BCI volunteers based in India and will really help to boost the BCI’s profile and the importance of BCM in the country. I am really looking forward to working with the chapter and helping to increase the level of support available to business continuity professionals in India.

Chief compliance officers and senior executives wrestle with strategies to spread and embed important compliance messages. A CEO and senior executives can spread a compliance message but they are always battling competing priorities in the overall direction and operation of the company. Nonetheless, we all have seen senior managers who are dedicated to promoting a compliance program, particularly in these days of aggressive enforcement.

CCOs have to be realistic and have to develop their own “ground” game (I know a political term in this political season). The best way to bring the compliance message out and embed it in a company is to work with middle managers to spread the compliance message. A CCO would be well advised to spend time on this important issue.

First, the CCO has to develop a target list of middle managers keyed to risk areas. For example, a manager of a sales force in Asia or China specifically is a prime target for enlisting in the compliance program messaging effort. The targeted middle managers should reflect key areas of risk such as sales/marketing, business development, procurement, vendor onboarding, and invoice review, approval and payment.



On a weekly basis, I get asked, “Should we continue with or expand our corporate data center, or should we move to a colocation facility or move to the cloud?” My response is always an emphatic “yes!”

It might seem like a flippant response to such a big question, but the best solution is likely a combination of these options. The data center strategy question really becomes: “How to analyze, rationalize and leverage all three alternatives for the best outcome.” The reality is that every business is different and a one-size fits all approach (build a data center, co-locate or go to the cloud) rarely is the right answer for all of a company’s applications.

When our team is engaged with a new client to develop their data center strategy, we begin with a front-end assessment to determine their company goals, objectives and reliability needs. We then look closely where they are today and where they are going in the future. This requires working with multiple groups from facilities, IT and executives to really understand their data center requirements. To gain clarity on objectives, align solutions with a mission critical data center strategy, and ensure the client is investing their money wisely, it is critical to begin with the assessment.



(TNS) - The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States was in Dallas. The biggest outbreak of West Nile virus in the country was in Dallas. And now one of the first cases of sexually transmitted Zika virus has been reported. In Dallas.

Why is the bull’s-eye on Dallas?

City leaders boast of attracting businesses and people from all over the world. Dallas is well-connected and has a booming economy, a growing population and one of the busiest airports on the planet.

It seems multiple microbes got that memo. What makes Dallas appealing to people also attracts diseases.



(TNS) - In the wake of the mass shootings in places like Aurora, Colo., and San Bernadino, Calif., a growing number of businesses are hiring security experts to train employees on how to respond to a workplace attack.

Such shootings often occur in businesses. A 2014 FBI study outlined 160 active shooter incidents across the country between 2000 and 2013, and 46 percent of them occurred at a business.

John Davis, Centerville Police Community Relations Officer, said his office has received an increased number of requests for training presentations developed by the Miami Valley Crime Prevention Association.



(TNS) - The threat of domestic Islamic terrorism is a political issue wielded by political candidates and debated hotly in Congress. But how serious is the threat?

A documentary premiering on HBO, “Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma” by Greg Barker, and a related book, Peter Bergen’s “United States of Jihad,” seek to answer that question.

The film’s release comes as presidential candidates, particularly those in the Republican field, are warning of the problem.



Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00

Weathering the Storm

Two weeks ago, the Blizzard of 2016, named Jonas, hit the East Coast.  The news media had forecast a large amount of snow fall a week prior to the storm.  Many people still did not want to believe a big snow storm was coming. The East Coast had enjoyed a very mild winter up until mid-January. In the days before the storm, the weather forecasters began predicting snow accumulation ranging from 12 inches to 36 inches from Tennessee to Connecticut. This really started to get everyone’s attention.  People were starting to think “what if a blizzard impacted where I live and work?”

The expected blizzard made me think about Business Continuity Plans for all the businesses along the East Coast.  Both work and personal events were impacted due to storm disruptions i.e. – loss of power, snow removal and overall safety. What if an incident happened where there was little to no advanced warning? Would you and your business be prepared?