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Volume 30, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

SIOS Joins Google Cloud Platform Partner Program

SAN MATEO, Calif. – SIOS Technology Corp. today announced that it is a Google Cloud Partner, enabling the accelerated delivery of high-availability SQL Server clusters and other business-critical applications in the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Google has also recognized the SIOS DataKeeper™ Cluster Edition as a high availability clustering solution for GCP. SIOS DataKeeper enables Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) environments to protect applications in GCP. SIOS lets organizations run their important applications in GCP without sacrificing the high availability and disaster protection they have come to expect from failover clustering.

SIOS DataKeeper recognized as a high-availability #clustering solution for Google Cloud Platform

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Organizations are often prevented from moving their business critical applications, such as SQL Server, to public cloud environments where shared storage – a prerequisite for failover clustering – is not available. By adding SIOS DataKeeper Cluster Edition to a WSFC environment, companies can create a high availability SANless cluster, eliminating the need for shared (SAN) storage and enabling customers to capitalize on the benefits of GCP. Companies can use SIOS DataKeeper with SQL Server Standard Edition to create a SQL high availability cluster without the cost of Enterprise Edition licensing.

“SIOS DataKeeper is filling a need for high-availability failover clustering in the cloud where customers are looking to use the same protection technologies they employ in their on-premises environments,” said Jerry Melnick, president and CEO of SIOS. “Our partnership with GCP further reflects SIOS DataKeeper’s position as the go-to solution for companies looking to take advantage of the efficiencies afforded by cloud computing while maintaining configuration flexibility.”

SIOS DataKeeper synchronizes local storage in each cluster node in real time using highly efficient block level replication to create a SANless cluster that appears to WSFC as shared storage. SIOS DataKeeper provides the flexibility to configure clusters across physical, virtual and cloud environments, freeing IT to drive additional value to the business.

 

About SIOS Technology Corp.

SIOS Technology Corp. makes software products that provide the insights and guidance IT managers need to manage and protect business critical applications in large, complex data centers. SIOS iQ is a machine learning analytics software that helps IT managers optimize performance, efficiency, reliability, and capacity utilization in virtualized environments. SIOS SAN and SANLess software is an essential part of any cluster solution that provides the flexibility to build Clusters Your Way™ to protect your choice of Windows or Linux environment in any configuration (or combination) of physical, virtual and cloud (public, private, and hybrid) without sacrificing performance or availability. Founded in 1999, SIOS Technology Corp. (http://us.sios.com) is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.

SIOS, SIOS Technology, SIOS iQ, SIOS DataKeeper, SIOS Protection Suite, Clusters Your Way, SIOS PERC Dashboard, and associated logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of SIOS Technology Corp. and/or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Pivot3 demonstrates commitment to providing secure solutions for the government and private sector as the only HCI vendor with the certification for data protection products

AUSTIN, Texas – Pivot3, the technology leader in hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions for the modern datacenter, today announced that it has completed the Common Criteria certification process for its vSTAC OS v7.5 hyperconverged infrastructure software platform under an Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 2+. Pivot3 is the only HCI vendor with a current Common Criteria certification for data protection products, which will make it possible for governments and private sector organizations around the world to adopt HCI more broadly with the confidence the solution meets internationally recognized and stringent security standards.

.@Pivot3Inc achieves Common Criteria certification for its #HCI software

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As government agencies work to comply with the Data Center Optimization Initiative enacted in August 2016, HCI has emerged as the ideal solution for agencies seeking a more efficient, scalable and cost-effective infrastructure. Pivot3 has seen growth with customers across all branches of the U.S. government as well as contractors, from providing small-form infrastructures at the tactical edge to supporting a modernization and consolidation initiative for a large Department of Defense agency.

The U.S. government mandates Common Criteria certification of security products for federal purchases, with all federal agencies required to purchase commercial security products that have met specified third-party assurance requirements and have been tested by an accredited national laboratory.

Common Criteria is an internationally-recognized ISO standard (ISO/IEC 15408) that defines a common framework for evaluating the trustworthiness of security features and capabilities of IT security products. The certification process consists of several predetermined evaluation assurance levels, each one more stringent than the last, with product security testing performed by independent third-party accredited laboratories.

“Pivot3 is our trusted partner in providing hyperconverged solutions to our federal customer base,” said Kenneth Hilton, GM & VP – Operations from Trace Systems, a leading provider of telecommunications, networking, cybersecurity, and information technology services to the United States Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and Department of Homeland Security. “This certification further enhances the value Pivot3 provides by ensuring their product delivers the most stringent security and data protection standards.”

Corsec Security, the global leader in product security requirements hardening, assisted Pivot3 with its Common Criteria evaluation. This effective partnership helped streamline the certification effort to complete the process in record time. “Attaining this Common Criteria certification is a testament to Pivot3’s commitment and adherence to U.S. and international government standards on product security, as well as compliance to the recent Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, which requires completion of the Common Criteria certification,” said Darcy Dinga, executive vice president, Corsec Security.

“Our government and private sector customers around the globe depend on Pivot3 for performance, scale and efficiency. The Common Criteria certification provides them with an additional level of assurance that their HCI partner is providing the highest possible security,” said Ron Nash, CEO, Pivot3. “This accreditation not only saves customers time and resources in the selection process, but also upholds their respective security standards and performs securely as promised.”

Pivot3’s vSTAC HCI Platform

As a Common Criteria EAL2+ certified data protection product, vSTAC provides twice the performance, delivers up to 94-percent usable storage capacity at scale, and consumes only a fraction of the operating overhead compared to other HCI platforms. Unlike most HCI solutions that restrict resource consumption to each node, Pivot3 allows IT to do more with less with a unique distributed scale-out architecture that pools each HCI node’s compute and storage capacity for consumption by every VM and application. Pivot3’s patented erasure coding provides the high availability and resiliency to maintain business performance even during degraded-mode conditions. vSTAC provides interoperability with existing infrastructures, which lets IT organizations run the customized, non-virtualized applications common in large government agencies with the same agility and economics as virtual workloads. To learn more, visit www.pivot3.com/vstac-os.

About Pivot3

Pivot3 improves the simplicity and economics of the enterprise datacenter with industry-leading hyperconverged infrastructure technology. By combining storage, compute, and networking on commodity hardware, Pivot3’s software-defined platforms let IT run multiple, mixed workloads on a single infrastructure while guaranteeing performance to the applications that matter most. Pivot3’s agile infrastructure solutions extend performance, scale and efficiency across more of the datacenter so organizations can adapt to modern business demands. With over 2,000 customers in 54 countries, and 18,000 deployments in multiple industries such as healthcare, government, transportation, security, entertainment, education, gaming and retail, Pivot3 is redefining HCI with smarter infrastructure solutions.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 16:41

Hurricane Season is here; are you ready?

Brightway Insurance counsels its customers to have insurance information ready to go in the event of a weather event

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Atlantic Hurricane Season is here, and forecasters are predicting above-normal activity with five to nine hurricanes. Florida-based Brightway Insurance, one of the largest independent insurance agencies in the U.S., is proactively contacting customers to help them prepare for the worst.

“Our goal is to provide expert counsel to consumers so their property is covered in the event of a storm or flooding,” said Brightway Founder and Chairman, David Miller. “Don’t wait until a storm is heading your way to think about your insurance coverage. Now is the time to ask your agent to review your policies and to make sure you have information on-hand in case you have to file a claim.”

In addition to outreach to its customers, Brightway offers these tips to everyone living along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Store important documents
    Print and store important insurance information and documents in a plastic zip bag, so you have it ready to go in the event you are asked to evacuate. In addition to your policy number, include the name of the insurance carrier, the telephone number to report claims and the website. For recommendations on preparing documents, see the Emergency Financial Preparedness toolkit published by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater.
  2. Request an annual insurance check-up
    Ask your agent to conduct an annual insurance review to make sure you have adequate coverage and that you can afford your deductibles. If you have renovated or added onto your home and have not adjusted your coverage to include the updates or new living space, it is very important to update your policy. If it is unclear how your Hurricane Deductible works, ask your agent to explain it. It is also a good idea to explore Flood insurance, which can provide coverage from damage caused by rising water from lakes, rivers, streams or oceans, as well as Ordinance and Law coverage, which can cover increased costs of re-construction as a result of upgraded building codes including electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
  3. Prepare your home and family
    Build a disaster supply kit now that will enable you to live without power or water for several days. Basics include a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food, non-electric can opener, flashlights and batteries. A portable generator may be a good investment, too, but be sure to read the instructions to avoid electric shock. If your town provides text or email alerts about weather events, sign up to receive real-time weather and traffic updates. Visit Ready.gov for additional recommendations on how to prepare for a hurricane.  

About Brightway Insurance
Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country. With more than $462 million in annualized written premium, the company is one of the largest property/casualty independent insurance agencies in the United States.

Brightway began franchising operations in 2008 and has since grown to more than 700 people in 14 states serving customers in all 50 states. Forbes has recognized the company as America’s No. 1 Franchise to Buy. Additionally, the company was named a top franchise three years in a row by Entrepreneur magazine and one of the fastest-growing private companies in America nine consecutive years by Inc. 5000. People wishing to learn more about Agency Ownership with Brightway may visit BrightwayDifference.com and find us on LinkedIn. Consumers seeking a better insurance buying experience may visit Brightway.com and find us on Facebook.

The Business Continuity Institute

Organizations are not doing enough to ensure their travel risk strategies are fit for the 21st century realities of business travel and fulfil their legal duty of care, according to a new report published by Airmic.

Travel risk management notes that business travel has grown by 25% over the last decade with businesses sending employees and other people they are responsible for to a wider range of territories, including high or extreme risk regions. They must be able to respond to the many possible factors that could convert even a low-risk destination into a high risk destination in a matter of hours, e.g. health, safety, security, political or social change, and natural disasters.

Businesses have a legal duty of care to protect their employees – which may include contractors and family members – and yet only 16% of Airmic members surveyed have high confidence in their travel risk management framework. To respond to this increased reliance on travel, organizations need flexible and evolving travel risk management strategies that go beyond purchasing travel insurance.

These strategies should respond to the different risks present in different territories and the requirements of the different individuals travelling. Businesses also need reliable sources of relevant intelligence and flexible and pre-rehearsed plans in place to ensure a quick and proportionate response to any crisis impacting its people.

“Sadly every week we are currently reminded why having an effective travel risk management framework in place is imperative. As the tragic events in Westminster, Manchester and more recently on London Bridge and Borough Market demonstrate, any destination can become high risk at an intense speed,” Julia Graham, Airmic’s deputy CEO and technical director, commented.

She added: “I urge all risk professionals to review, update and rehearse how they would respond should such an incident impact their organization. Knowing where your people are and how you can communicate with each other in the event of a crisis is especially important.”

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center opens Thursday, June 15, in Phelps County, in the city of Rolla. Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in any of the 27 counties included in the Missouri federal disaster declaration for flooding and severe storms that occurred between April 28 and May 11, 2017.

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be at the center to discuss assistance and to help anyone who needs information or assistance filing an application. The new center is at this location:

Phelps County DRC

Phelps County Courthouse Annex
Court House
200 North Main Street
Rolla, MO 65401

The center will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Thursday, June 15 and will close 7 p.m. Monday, June 19.

Homeowners, renters and business-owners are encouraged to register with FEMA before visiting a disaster recovery center. Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling toll-free 800- 621-3362 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual registration assistance is available. Survivors may also register using the FEMA app for smartphones.

The following information is helpful when survivors register:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)
  • Current mailing address
  • Current telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account).
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

FEMA disaster recovery centers are already operating in Carter, Franklin, Howell, Jefferson, McDonald and Newton counties. In the coming days, FEMA will be opening additional disaster recovery centers in other communities included in the federal disaster declaration.

Disaster survivors may visit any of the centers for assistance. Locations of recovery centers may be found online at www.fema.gov/DRC and at https://recovery.mo.gov/.

FEMA provides grants to qualified individuals for rental assistance, home repairs, or other serious disaster-related losses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

SBA also offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency and FEMA are committed to ensuring services and assistance are available for people with disabilities. When you register, let FEMA staff know that you have a need or a reasonable accommodation request. People who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.

The federal disaster declaration covers eligible losses caused by flooding and severe storms between April 28 and May 11, 2017 in these counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, and Texas.

 

For disaster updates from FEMA, follow @FEMAregion7 on Twitter, and turn on mobile notifications. Visit the disaster webpage at www.fema.gov/disaster/4317.

For disaster updates from the State of Missouri, visit Missouri’s recovery website at Recovery.mo.gov. You can also follow @MoPublicSafety on Twitter, and www.facebook.com/MoPublicSafety/ on Facebook.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Acting Administrator Bob Fenton's activities at  www.twitter.com/bobatfema.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard- of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

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).