Spring World 2017

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Volume 29, Issue 5

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DRJ Blogs

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Emergency Preparedness, Zombie Style!

From the Centers for Disease Control’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

 (seriously)

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

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DRJ Fall World - Sunday Solutions Track

Can you believe it is the middle of August? Not only does this time of the year signal the winding down of summer (sorry!) it also means it is time to really start thinking about your September plans. 

For us here at DRJ, September is all about DRJ Fall World. This year DRJ Fall World runs from September 22 - 25 in San Diego, California. If you've been following our posts about DRJ Fall World, you'll have read about the outstanding learning and networking sessions we have for you this year. 

As always, we want to make sure you get all the opportunities you need to push the boundaries on your BC and DR learning - this is why the Sunday Solution Track is an excellent option. 

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Do you have a TARDIS? A STORServer might just be the next best thing.

This blog written in honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who and YouTube’s Geek Week.

If you can’t travel back in time, you better know you can recover your data.

 In BBC America's series "Doctor Who," the Doctor has the ability to travel through time in space in a device called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space). He simply adjusts the Timey-Wimey knobs and buttons and can go anywhere at any time.

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Recovery based cloud offerings are a shell game!

Recovery based offerings cost so much more than they tell you.  They only show you the tip of the ICEBERG

 I have seen many a cloud offering to backup and recover your data for as low as $.01 per Gigabyte ($10.24 a TB) per month.  BUT that is only the tip of the iceberg. 

 Backup and recovery is really all about the recovery.  All the fancy backup in the world does not do you any good unless you can recover that data, quickly and easily.

 Let’s see what backup and recovery actually costs with this type of BaaS product.  Let’s make it simple and look at the numbers of one of the more popular products on the market (which will remain nameless).

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More than a Plan: Establishing a Disaster Recovery Program

By Glen Bricker, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Many organizations think having a disaster recovery plan is all the protection they need from disasters. However, there is so much more to disaster recovery than just a plan! That’s why most industry professionals see disaster recovery as an ongoing program or process that contains a number of distinct elements. Key process activities include:

  • Business engagement and establishment of business requirements (through business impact analyses and risk assessments), resulting in the definition of recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, and downtime procedures (manual workarounds)
  • Identification, evaluation, and selection of appropriate recovery approaches to achieve business requirements, including  defined ongoing budget commitments and staff allocations
  • Development of plans for technical recovery and coordination of the recovery effort
  • Execution of ongoing exercising and training

In addition to process elements, the following governance activities are also typically performed:

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Traumatic Incident Stress: No Good Deed..

..goes unpunished, they say. Nowhere is that more true than with those who respond to disasters- natural or man-made, where death and severe injury is present.  These workers are at risk of experiencing stress from what psychologists refer to as a traumatic incident. A traumatic incident is one that may involve exposure to catastrophic events, severely injured children or adults, dead bodies or body parts, or a loss of colleagues. All workers involved in response activities help themselves and their coworkers and reduce the risk of experiencing stress associated with a traumatic incident by utilizing simple methods to recognize, monitor, and maintain health on-site and following such experiences.  

A Personal Case Study

As emergency responders, we often feel a need to “be brave”, impervious to the bad things we see, stoic in the face of tragedy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The very parts of our nature that drive us to respond to disasters- to help those most affected- also prevents us from turning a completely blind eye to what we witness. We may fool ourselves for a while, but sooner or later, it will surface.

Immediately following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I found myself in New Orleans, serving in the city’s Emergency Operations Center as a Safety Officer. In the ten months I served, four of those months were with the New Orleans Fire Department‘s Urban Search and Rescue team. From March through June, 2006, our mission was to make a final sweep through New Orleans devastated 9th Ward searching for any as yet unfound victims. This entailed going from one ruined home to another, led by teams of cadaver dogs. Climbing over stinking refuse and debris, trying to block out the fact that these had been people’s homes- where children had been raised, homework done, Christmases and birthdays celebrated. And yes, even 6 months after the storms, there were remains to be found. During this mission, twenty six total. 

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Virtual backup storage brings cloud down to Earth

TSM architecture gives STORServer customers long-term control

 By: John Pearring, STORServer

 

Virtual this and virtual that have become watchwords for technology geeks tracking what’s happening in the IT centers of practically every sized company. But a revolutionary idea that has almost three decades of development behind it makes virtual storage a reality for data protection aficionados.

Get this. How about a backup and archive architecture that doesn’t store your data on media? How is that possible? By designing backup and archive buckets, or pools, that float like clouds right in your own datacenter.

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A Look At DRJ Fall World - Tuesday Workshops

It may be the middle of the summer, but we've got our eyes on September and more specifically on DRJ Fall World. This blog post continues our series on highlighting the learning and networking opportunities you'll have at our September 22-25 conference in San Diego.

In this post, we're taking a closer look at the Tuesday Workshops. These workshops are designed to give you learning opportunities that take the knowledge you gained from the General Sessions and Breakout Tracks to the next level. 

One of the keys to the Tuesday Workshops is that they're designed to be interactive and they are focused on experience level - so regardless of your level of BC knowledge, you'll find a workshop that meets your needs.

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Can you recover your data seven years from now?

Do you know where your data will be in 7 years?

 Seven years ago, you had a pager or really big phone that did not get email. You watched analog TV and bought CDs and DVDs. Life and technology is quite different nowadays. You have a smartphone, hi-def TV, iTunes and Netflix. Can you imagine what you will have seven years from now?

 You have no idea. The same is true in the IT world. Do you know what type of media your data will be on in seven years? You can guess, but you really don’t know. You are LTO4 or LTO5 today, but in seven years, you could be on LTO19 or even some new technology.

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A Look At DRJ Fall World - Breakout Tracks

In our ongoing blog series on DRJ Fall World, we'll take a closer look at the Breakout Tracks that are available to you. These Breakout Tracks are focused on giving you that next step in learning - allowing you to focus on the topics and questions that you really want to learn more about. 

As you'll learn, our Breakout Tracks cover a range of topics and geared towards all knowledge levels and experience with business continuity. These hour-long sessions are focused on getting you the information that you can take back to your company or organization. 

The Monday, September 23 Breakout Tracks include:

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Your data protection solution could become a data protection problem

You have to plan your data protection. While this might seem like an obvious statement, most people don’t think about it until after they have a solution in place.

Did you sit down with your database administrator to get their requirements? Did you actually vet those requirements? Come on, you know they’re going to tell you they need full hot backups every night and to keep that data forever. Give me a break. They have no idea the cost and burden that puts on the infrastructure and the daily batch processing.

Planning is key 

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Workplace Disasters: Ready?

When we think of disasters and the workplace, its usually in the context of a natural disater such as tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes- depending on where one is located. But these are actually the tip of the iceberg- which is a good analogy in fact. The iceberg that was struck by the Titanic would not be considered a "natural disaster" in the same way as a hurricane, but it was no less a disaster for the Titanic.

Because of the belief that the ship was unsinkable, less attention was given to preparing for such an event. Any instructions on how to abandon ship, don life vests, etc., were given tongue in cheek, if at all. Design and other interests were given precedence over providing sufficient life boats, primarily due to management perception that "it can't happen here."

When an emergency strikes your workplace, there's no time for hesitation-or for trying to figure out what to do. To survive an emergency, you and your workforce have to already know what to do. Emergency plans must be well developed, well practiced, and ready to be put into action at a moment's notice.

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Big data, big changes, big trouble (in Little China)

Big data, big changes, big trouble (in Little China)

Every day you add more data to your infrastructure. Some analysts say it averages 20 percent year on year. There are certain types of organizations that can change up to 60 percent year on year. One way or another, data keeps growing and you keep buying more storage, and that can cause big trouble.

In 1986, the movie “Big Trouble in Little China” was released and changed the world. Its “B” grade kung fu moves and effects made everyone laugh, but there was a serious element to the movie too that translates into the world of IT. The main character Jack Burton said, “I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things.” This profound statement really does rock the IT world.

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Video Games & Emergency Preparedness

By Luis Tapia
Originally posted on Disaster Junkie's Blog

After playing through a post-apocalyptic themed video game last night, I thought about the recent success of several disaster related genres. Perhaps the most notable would be the zombie craze, which arguably is enjoying its golden age in television and film.

Last year, the CDC acknowledged the zombie phenomenon by releasing zombie preparedness advice via the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. Division Director Dr. Ali Khan noted "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack."

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A Look At DRJ Fall World - General Sessions

In a previous post, we took a look at the Sunday Workshops available to you at the 2013 DRJ Fall World conference. In this post, we'll get into the General Sessions so you can get a good understanding of the learning, networking, and training opportunities available to you.

General Sessions are held each morning and are targeted to a broad audience. All attendees attend these sessions in the morning. Our presenters are the top experts in the field, bringing only the most relevant topics and the best strategies. 

The Monday General Sessions include:

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Your business DNA: Do you have an inherited disease?

You are an administrator of your company’s IT infrastructure. Before you came along, it was someone else’s job, but you inherited their mess. While another person built the infrastructure, it is now your responsibility to manage everything that happens within it. 

 

That inherited infrastructure is the DNA of your business. All of your plans, projects, business and customer information exist in the form of 1’s and 0’s. Just like DNA, those 1’s and 0’s are the building blocks of everything else you do. 

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ISO 22301’s Relationship to BS 25999-2 and Other Standards

By Brian Zawada, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Similar to other management systems standards, ISO 22301 is based on the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ model that seeks to improve – in a continual manner – the effectiveness of the organization’s performance through proficient planning, implementation, supervision, review and maintenance.

As such, it is only proper that we discuss the relationship of ISO 22301 with other management systems standards.  The following summary offers a high-level comparison between ISO 22301 and another widely-adopted management systems standard, British Standard (BS) 25999-2 (2007). 

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Support for virtualized environments is key

Virtualization technology has helped IT organizations of all sizes reduce costs by improving server utilization and reducing application provisioning times. However, this produces two new problems that most people do not account for when choosing a data protection solution. First, the cost savings offered by virtualization can disappear quickly in the face of virtual machine sprawl. Second, the link between physical and logical devices becomes harder to map and track, making a virtual environment more complex than most can imagine.

Data protection can become a unique challenge in these environments. For example, backing up and restoring data for a dozen or more virtual machines residing on one physical server can bring all other operations on that server to a complete halt.

 ll that being said, when searching for a data protection solution, be sure to investigate whether the product provides an effective solution to this challenge by eliminating the burden of running backups on a virtual machine and instead off-loading backup workloads from a VMware ESX or ESXi-based server to a centralized vStorage backup server. The solution must improve the frequency of protection and enable faster recovery of data, helping increase the business value of virtualization. The solution should also help organizations reduce license management costs by removing agents from the individual virtual machines.

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A Look At DRJ Fall World - Sunday Workshops

Ah June, the month when people start thinking about vacation plans, summer camp and getting away from the office for a bit.... Well, for us at DRJ, we've got something else on our minds - Fall World 2013.

To say that we're excited and looking forward to this upcoming conference would be an understatement. If you're a regular reader of this blog then you'll likely have read about our new venue (Hilton San Diego Bayfront) and you've probably visited our blog to learn more about the changes we have planned.

But what about the sessions, workshops and learning tracks? We want you to get the most you can out of Fall World 2013- so to help you, here is a synopsis of our Sunday Workshops:

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Data life-cycle management: From birth to death

IT organizations can drive up the cost of storage unnecessarily by treating all data the same and storing it all on the same media. I have said many times that all data is not created equal. When looking for a data protection solution, managing the ones and zeros from the time they are created to the time you can delete them is very important.

Long-term archive and hierarchical storage management (HSM) allow organizations to store data on different tiers based on specific policies, enabling administrators to migrate and store data on the most appropriate tier. For example, older and less frequently accessed data can be moved to a slower, less-expensive storage platform, such as tape, leaving more expensive disk storage available for more high-value data. Automated data archiving also helps organizations ensure compliance with data retention policies and reduce the costs associated with compliance.

When making a decision about data protection, look only for solutions that help reduce costs by providing automated, policy-based data life-cycle management, moving data to the most cost-effective tier of storage while still meeting service level requirements. This will help ensure recovery objectives are met while enabling transparent data access. Do not be fooled by vendors who tell you that backup and recovery are enough.

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