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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Press Releases

Press Releases (1435)

UK-based business continuity and communication solution specialist Vocal has announced a new strategic alliance with leading crisis management firm CQ Australia, which sees the introduction of its award-winning iModus crisis communications solution to the Australian market.
The move will ensure that Australasian customers can tackle natural disasters, emergencies, business incidents, such as IT outages or local authority situations with greater speed and efficiency using the acclaimed iModus package.

Vocal's iModus portfolio of crisis and emergency notification, enterprise wide on demand messaging and incident management tools is used by governments and corporations across the globe and was employed with great effect to coordinate emergency teams after major business affecting incidents such as Hurricane Sandy, the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London and more recently during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

'We are excited to announce this new strategic partnership. CQ Australia will now be the sole provider of iModus within Australasia, bringing this industry-leading technology to the region underpinned by dedicated support and CQ Australia's in-depth industry knowledge,' said Trevor Wheatley-Perry, Vocal's Managing Director.

'CQ Australia was the natural choice for Vocal as a local partner, as their experience and dynamic approach to risk and resilience challenges mirrors our own expertise with iModus. The venture will increase our international presence and enhance our business potential'.

Daniel Shields, Director of CQ Australia, sees iModus as a key part of CQ's strategy to provide corporate Australia with the most sophisticated and comprehensive range of crisis management products and services.

'At CQ, our goal is to enhance the way organisations manage crisis events. With iModus, we can now provide a viable and proven alternative to existing crisis communication products, but one that offers enhanced functionality at better value,' he says.

In the search for a new crisis communications platform for the Australian market, Mr Shields says CQ looked at and trialled numerous products from the US, Europe and the UK but 'iModus was the clear leader in crisis communications technology, and an excellent fit for the Australian market'.

'From a crisis management perspective, iModus has everything; it uses front-line technology, dedicated local infrastructure, mobile applications and provides opportunities to significantly improve how organisations develop, control and activate their crisis management and business continuity strategies'.

For more information on iModus visit www.vocal.co.uk

MINNEAPOLIS – Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of ediscovery, data recovery, and information management products and services, today announced the availability of new proprietary capabilities to address the latest versions and corresponding data loss challenges associated with NetApp®, Dell EqualLogic™, and VMware®. Leveraging this unique toolset, Kroll Ontrack has successfully recovered data from both software and hardware failures of current NetApp, Dell EqualLogic and VMware models.

NetApp Storage Systems

Kroll Ontrack can now recover from multiple data loss failures within a NetApp storage environment. This capability was developed as a result of a three-drive failure in a RAID-DP®. Ontrack Data Recovery engineers are now able to emulate the NetApp RAID controller and retrieve the data from the array – even in the areas where there are more than two non-working HDDs. Leveraging this capability, Kroll Ontrack recovered over 30 million files and 7TB for one customer that lost over 14 NetApp storage volumes.

Dell EqualLogic

“Through custom real-time development efforts, Kroll Ontrack has made six updates to its Dell EqualLogic toolset in 2012 – each time for a new challenge,” said Robert Bloomquist, principal data recovery engineer, Kroll Ontrack. “Our continuous innovation with respect to this enterprise tool has paid off. We’ve had a 100 percent success rate with Dell EqualLogic recoveries.”

For example, a recent case involved two Dell EqualLogic volumes that were accidentally deleted from the user interface. One of the volumes was an NFS share from a Windows server and contained 600GB of business data, including Lotus Notes data. The other volume contained a VMware VMFS partition with MS SQL virtual servers. The R&D team solved the data structure related corruptions and implemented a full solution, resulting in a 100 percent recovery of the deleted volumes from the NFS share and VMware VMFS volume.

VMware
In addition to current model support for NetApp and Dell EqualLogic, Kroll Ontrack is continuously enhancing its VMware capabilities. Recent improvements include faster and more accurate support for VMFS-5, deleted virtual disks and snapshots.

“When the Bank of Manhattan experienced a data loss event with a NetApp Storage Area Network that was running VMware ESXi 4.1, Kroll Ontrack was successfully able to utilize their proprietary solutions for our complex multiple layered operating systems platform, and provide prompt and attentive service throughout the resolution path, said Curtis Birkmann, CIO, Bank of Manhattan. “As a result of their efforts, the Bank of Manhattan was able to restore key virtual servers in 30 percent less time than leveraging our traditional offsite recovery process. Further, Kroll Ontrack provided the Bank of Manhattan with complete images of key virtual servers, at the exact time of hardware failure, rather than at the time of last backup or snapshot. This approach allowed us to recover multiple integrated servers at the exact point of failure.”

“The value and resources we place on developing tools and capabilities to address new and difficult challenges are where Kroll Ontrack shines,” said Todd Johnson, vice president of operations, Kroll Ontrack. “As a result of our efforts, we are achieving great success with the latest enterprise recovery challenges to ensure our corporate clients are back up and functioning just as they were before the data loss.”

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, backup, search, analyze, and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data backup, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review. Kroll Ontrack is a subsidiary of Altegrity, an industry-leading provider of information solutions. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit www.krollontrack.com or follow Kroll Ontrack on Twitter at @KrollOntrack.

San Ramon, CA – xMatters, inc., the relevance engine company, today announced the acquisition of Bamboo™, a leading industry mobile incident management application developed by professional services firm Deloitte Australia. Deloitte introduced Bamboo in 2011 as a “mobile-first” incident management technology, revolutionizing how workplace disasters and crises are handled with its innovative mobile technology.

Bamboo publishes incident management plans, procedures and actions to an individual’s smartphone in a practical and friendly way. When a plan or procedure is added or changed, Bamboo automatically updates only the affected users based on their role and other criteria. This means that even when a network fails, users can still access the latest critical information and response plans.

Bamboo’s ability to publish incident management procedures to smartphones for offline access complements xMatters’ existing mass notification applications which are based on relevance engine technology. xMatters’ relevance engines are the next generation of emergency mass notification systems which provide relevant alerts, tasks and actions to employees, citizens, management, press, customers and anyone affected by a serious business-impacting event. The combination of these technologies provides clients with the ability to respond faster, optimize employee safety and restore services faster than ever before.

“To effectively harness the power of mobile, personal devices in the workplace you must plan for a loss in connectivity when crisis strikes,” said Troy McAlpin, CEO of xMatters. “Many mass notification vendors assume that a network will be available and as we know, that’s not always the case. Bamboo is the only mobile-first incident management application built from the ground up by industry experts from Deloitte. Combining Bamboo with our next generation mass notification system reduces the risk of business interruption, optimizes employee safety and lowers the cost of business response.”

The need for these types of enhanced solutions was evident during the recent events of Hurricane Sandy, where mobile connections were not reliable and personnel were missing task lists, mobile access to plans and the ability to communicate rapidly. With Bamboo, personnel have plans and tasks pushed in advance to their devices. Employees can record tasks, send out “help me” SOS signals, build and communicate with teams close to them using Location Based Services (e.g. GPS location) and follow plans and tasks all from their mobile devices with or without network connectivity.

“After assisting several clients through events ranging from natural disasters to civil unrest we have concluded that organizations must supply their response teams and incident management teams with information they need with or without an active communication network,” said Doug Peete, VP Product Management, xMatters. “Our customers will be able to utilize this technology with their existing planning system from leaders such as Fusion Risk Management™, Kingsbridge™ and Clearview™.”

Bamboo’s mobile incident management feature set includes:

• Locate My Team: allows users to find team members on a graphical map

• Relocation: shows user’s current location on a map and provides directions to defined relocation sites

• Alert Button: triggers an outbound ‘here is my location’ message to request help from fellow team members

• Contacts and Call-Tree Access: leverages the native features of user’s smartphone to look up and contact team members via SMS, email and phone calls

Bamboo is now publicly available through xMatters as of today, February 13, 2013. xMatters announced it will support mass notification vendors with the Bamboo suite in addition to the xMatters mass notification system. Vendors supported will include xMatters, Send Word Now™, Mir3™, Everbridge™ and Sungard™. For more information, visit www.xmatters.com/bamboo.

About xMatters, inc.

xMatters builds relevance engines that connect people with what they need to know at exactly the right moment - so they can take immediate action. Our relevance engines work with existing enterprise applications, technologies and processes to help businesses run faster and smarter. More than 1000 global firms use xMatters to make their products and services more valuable, both internally and to their customers and shareholders. Founded in 2000 as AlarmPoint Systems, xMatters is headquartered in San Ramon, CA with European operations based in London. More information is available at www.xMatters.com or 1-877-xMATTRS or +44 (0) 1483 722 001 UK.

Follow us - http://twitter.com/#!/xMatters_inc, https://www.facebook.com/xMatters.

AUSTIN, Texas – Data loss in storage systems is unavoidable, in spite of what most storage vendors try to make users believe, says Paul Carpentier, CTO and Co-Founder of Caringo, the leading provider of object storage software.
By selecting the right solution and applying the appropriate parameters, however, users can control both the probability of data loss, as well as the size of the data loss based upon their business requirements. Carpentier, the ‘Car’ in Caringo, provides insight into the specifics of this process as it relates to Object Storage which is the de facto standard for enabling Cloud Storage, Big Data Storage and any rapidly scaling storage environment. The whitepaper is available at: www.caringo.com/wp-reps-and-ec.
The paper includes the following:
• The truth most storage vendors don’t tell you about data protection
• Why you need both replication and erasure coding
• An introduction to Caringo’s Elastic Content Protection
• Graphs comparing data loss resulting from replication and erasure coding
• Using Caringo’s Data Durability Calculator to calculate storage efficiency and data durability (as a factor of 9s)

The full paper can be downloaded from the Caringo website at: www.caringo.com/wp-reps-and-ec.

San Jose, Calif. – Vertically integrated flash solutions provide distinct technological and cost benefits to customers over SSD or flash appliances that utilize third-party software in an attempt to incorporate service components, such as deduplication and compression, into their product offerings say experts at Skyera Inc.

Included in the stack of components of an SSD or flash system are the NAND memory itself, the flash controller to handle wear leveling and other management functions, and the RAID controller to protect against component failure. Many flash appliance companies also provide system or data service components, including LUN mapping, clones and snapshots, as part of their offerings in an attempt to offer expected enterprise features or to differentiate themselves from their competition. Those vendors that concentrate primarily on developing solid-state hardware components often turn to third-party software vendors, whose offerings tend to focus on solving the same issues on hard disk drives, to complete the stack and get to market faster.

While these software components might work well in disk-based systems, they can often lead to inefficiency, additional complexity and added costs when implemented into flash-based systems. Because much of this software is tuned for disk, there is often the need for additional CPU usage and memory accesses that slows down the system and increases latency, negating the performance boost that customers are paying a premium to achieve.

“People buy solid-state for performance and it is highly detrimental to them to spend all that money for SSD and then double or triple the latency with additional software layers and code that must be written to glue these layers of disparate products together,” said Radoslav Danilak, CEO of Skyera. “A tightly integrated solution where software and hardware architectures can be built together so there is no additional complexity is a better approach to SSD or flash systems rather than implementing existing solutions onto devices.”

Vertical integration allows flash vendors to control costs and build each component better than simply utilizing commercially available products because they will be tailored for solid-state environments, giving customers a better experience at a lower TCO. The vertically integrated Skyera Skyhawk was developed from the ground up to extend the life amplification of the latest generation of MLC Flash and to deliver a solution at a system price of less than $3 per gigabyte, in line with hard disk-based enterprise storage systems. skyHawk features a compact half-depth 1u form factor with 44 terabytes of up to 500,000 IOPS, low-latency native capacity to satisfy the most-demanding Big Data, analytics and virtualization applications.

Follow Skyera:
http://www.twitter.com/skyerainc
http://www.facebook.com/skyerainc
http://www.youtube.com/skyerainc

About Skyera
Skyera Inc. is an emerging provider of enterprise solid-state storage systems designed to enable a large class of applications with extraordinarily high performance, exceptionally lower power consumption and cost effectiveness relative to existing enterprise storage systems. Founded by the executives who previously developed the world's most-advanced flash memory controller, Skyera is backed by key technology and financial partnerships designed to position it at the forefront of the hyper growth in the solid-state storage sector. The company was featured in the Gartner report "Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2012,” was chosen by Flash Memory Summit as a Best of Show award winner for 2012 in the category of Most Innovative Flash Memory Enterprise Business Application, and won the Visionary Product Award at Storage Visions, 2013. For more information about the company, visit skyera.com.
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AUSTIN, Texas -- The Professional Development Center (UT-PDC) at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to offer the Business Analyst Certificate Program (BACP) for local professionals seeking to gain skills in the emerging business analysis (BA) field. Individual workers can sign up or organizations can send their up-and-coming team members to learn business analysis fundamentals.

Business analysis is a rising function, quickly being embraced by corporations around the world. Business analysts are trained to investigate and identify areas of customer need or potential market growth and then propose solutions to how their organization can meet that need, adapt to market change and build new business.

According to ESI International, a component of Informa PLC, business analysts play an increasingly vital role in change management. According to a 2011 ESI report, business analysts "will be recognized as critical to change management to avoid troubled projects. From their enterprise-wide vantage point, business analysts will be relied upon to help executives better understand the impact that change will have on the organization and to help minimize negative impact that results from change."

"I am so proud to offer the Business Analysis Certificate Program," said Liliya Spinazzola, director of UT-PDC. "We have offered this program since 2007, and there continues to be great popular demand for learning these skills. Austin continues to grow quickly, and individual workers and whole organizations see a great benefit to adding this capability to their portfolios. As our market grows, companies recognize that they must adjust to market changes to stay ahead of the competition."

Marsha B. Hughes, instructor of the BACP adds: "Without effective business analysis, projects can go off course, resulting in missed or misunderstood requirements, dissatisfied customers, and costly rework. In this certificate program, participants gain a comprehensive knowledge of the business analysis process, with a focus on the hands-on practice of business analysis tasks and techniques using a realistic case study and engaging group activities."

The program is made up of one and two-day classes offered once a month on the main campus of the university. Courses may be taken individually or as a series to complete the certificate. Upcoming courses from the program include:

February 13: "Eliciting Requirements: Techniques and Considerations." In this course, participants learn how to conduct measured and comprehensive analysis of business functions and potentials.
March 21: "Business Analysis Planning and Management." Participants create a BA plan, including documentation, deliverables and prioritization. They also learn to track and manage BA risks, work breakdown, requirement and performance.
May 23: "Building the Business Case." Participants learn to prepare strong business cases for new projects by analyzing and identifying business needs, desired outcomes, capability gaps and solutions.
June 20: "Business Analysis Essentials." Participants learn the techniques, terminology, methodologies and core competencies required of successful business analysts.
July 24 and 25: "Analyzing and Documenting Requirements." This two-day workshop covers the requirements used by business analysts to effectively communicate new business plans to stakeholders.

UT-PDC's Business Analysis Certificate Program is an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP™) of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®). The curriculum was updated in 2012 to be closer aligned with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide), Version 2.0, a recognized industry standard.

For more information, please contact Veronica Phillips at 512-471-2926 or vphillips@austin.utexas.edu. The Professional Development Center is a department of the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education at The University of Texas at Austin. www.utexas.edu/ce/pdc

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners, including the National Weather Service, continue to closely monitor the major winter storm systems impacting the Northeast and developing across the Northern and Central Plains. FEMA's regional offices in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, New York City, and Philadelphia are in contact with state emergency management counterparts and with tribal emergency managers in the path of the storm. FEMA's National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C. continues to monitor the situation and hold regular operational briefings with regional and federal partners as the severe winter weather continues.

At the state's request, FEMA liaisons have been positioned in state emergency operations centers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (both in Albany and New York City), Rhode Island, and Vermont. A National Incident Management Assistance Team is deploying to the Northeast to provide support if additional support is requested to help with emergency response coordination and other needs. These personnel are in addition to the joint state and federal field office staff already in place supporting ongoing disaster recovery efforts in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont following Hurricane Sandy. Other teams and personnel are ready to support, if needed and requested.

According to the National Weather Service, blizzard conditions, heavy snow and high winds are expected to continue today into tonight in portions of the Northeast and will produce moderate to locally major coastal flooding. The wet heavy snow may cause downed tree limbs and power lines, creating power outages. Additionally, the National Weather Service forecasts that snow, and in some areas, blizzard conditions are expected across parts of Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming through the weekend into Monday, in some areas.

"Everyone has a role to play in the response to this winter storm," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Follow the direction of your state, local and tribal officials, and if you are told to stay off the roads, stay home, and when it is safe, check on your neighbors or friends nearby who may need assistance or extra support. Older adults and individuals who are dependent on life-sustaining medical equipment or assistive devices such as a ventilator or mobility devices, may need additional support in areas that have lost power."

FEMA echoes the warnings issued by the National Weather Service and local elected officials in the affected region, and asks citizens and visitors in areas with severe winter storms to avoid all travel both during and immediately following the storm and to heed all advice and safety information provided by state, tribal and local emergency officials. Individuals in the path of the storm should monitor their NOAA weather radio and local weather forecast office or www.weather.gov for the latest information, including additional or changing weather watches and warnings.

Individuals in areas affected by the storm, are reminded of these safety tips during the storm:
· Stay indoors during the storm.
· Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways.
· Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
· Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
· Use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
· Check on your neighbors or friends nearby who may need assistance or extra support.

For more information on what to do after winter storms, visit www.ready.gov.

Just 25 days after Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania, and a good portion of the New York City metropolitan area, New Yorkers gathered to celebrate at the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. New Yorkers are a resilient bunch, but the impact of the super storm will be felt for a long time.

Due to the area’s investment in internet infrastructure, New York City is home to many businesses, both large and small, that are dependent upon access to this communication grid. Whether the lights stayed on, the computers remained up, or the networks remained available, Hurricane Sandy impacted all of these businesses. Why? Because employees lost homes. Public transportation systems were in disarray. Fuel was rationed, and lines for fuel stretched for miles. Many individuals simply couldn’t get to work.

We’ve studied disasters enough to know that, regardless of where you live and regardless of what you do, it is not possible to prevent disasters from impacting your organization. But you can increase the probability that your business survives, by maintaining multiple offices and multiple data centers. Your organization’s probability of survival increases dramatically, the further apart your offices are. Hurricane Sandy’s winds spanned 1,100 miles, and its impact was felt in Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Haiti, Bermuda, Canada, and 24 states in the U.S. A good place for a second location of a New York-based business might be somewhere in Kansas.

Hurricane Sandy helped surface some of the risks associated with operating from a single region. These include:

1. Power outages can extend for hours, days, or weeks

2. Organizations may not have enough fuel on site to sustain power during an extended outage

3. Fuel may be in short supply and rationed after disasters

4. Employee movement may be significantly restricted

5. Public transportation systems may be impacted

All of this argues for a disaster recovery site that is a long distance, a very long distance, from the production data center.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working closely with its partners, including the National Weather Service, to monitor the developing winter storm in the Northeast. FEMA's regional offices in Boston and New York City are in contact with state emergency management counterparts. FEMA's National Watch Center in Washington, D.C. continues to monitor the situation and hold regular operational briefings with regional and federal partners as the severe winter weather advances and as impacts are felt through the overnight hours into Saturday.

FEMA liaisons are working directly with our state partners at state emergency operations centers in the Northeast states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (both in Albany and New York City), Rhode Island, and Vermont. These liaisons are in addition to the joint state and federal field office staff who are already in place to support ongoing disaster recovery efforts in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

FEMA echoes the warnings issued by the National Weather Service and local elected officials in the region, and asks citizens and visitors to the Northeast and New England states to avoid all travel both during and immediately following the storm and to heed all advice and safety information provided by local emergency officials. Individuals in the path of the storm should monitor their NOAA weather radio and local weather forecast office or www.weather.gov for the latest information, including additional or changing weather watches and warnings.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are currently being sent directly to many cell phones on participating wireless carrier networks. These alerts are sent by public safety officials such as the National Weather Service and are designed to get your attention and provide brief, critical instructions to warn about imminent threats like severe weather. More information on WEAs is available at www.ready.gov/warning-systems-signals. Individuals can check with their cellular carrier to determine if your phone or wireless device is WEA-enabled.

For more information on what to do before, during and after winter storms, visit www.ready.gov.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –– STORServer®, the leading provider of proven data backup solutions for the mid-market, is today releasing the Virtual Appliance (VA), a downloadable virtual machine designed to use VMware® Consolidated Backup.

VA gives customers the ability to use their existing infrastructure with STORServer’s software and solutions to get the best backup solution in the world. Whereas the traditional line of STORServer Backup Appliances requires hardware, the new VA is a downloadable VMDK file that provides the same fully integrated and easy-to-use solution STORServer customers have come to expect.

Affordably priced, the VA series aggressively competes against any similar sized backup solution, providing resellers and end users an alternative to the traditional appliance model. STORServer’s intuitive user interface console simplifies daily management across the enterprise from a single location. The solution efficiently backs up multiple operating systems and email applications in addition to supporting most popular database platforms (requires optional database agents) and locations, including virtual machines, local and remote devices. Backups and restores can take place across all network connections (NAS, SAN, LAN and WAN) from hundreds of storage devices.

STORServer’s support offers a single point of contact for warranty and support of all non-hardware related events.

Built on IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, STORServer offers a complete suite of enterprise backup appliances, software and services that solve today’s backup, archive and disaster recovery challenges. Each VA uses the same Enterprise or Basic TSM software as other appliances, provides disk-to-disk-to-DR (disk, tape, cloud or appliance) configurations and scales for future growth.

To purchase the VA, customers can contact a certified STORServer reseller or visit http://www.storserver.com to quote their own STORServer Backup Appliance.

STORServer EBA 3100, 2100, 1100 and 800 recently took four out of five top positions in the DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide. After evaluating 66 products, DCIG felt that no other backup appliance came close to the EBA3100, placing it in a category of its own.

For more information on the company’s line of data backup solutions, visit http://www.storserver.com. To download the full DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide, visit http://backupapplianceguide.com.