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Volume 30, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Designed to be intuitive, Cisco's new network can recognize intent, mitigate threats through encryption, and learn over time

LAS VEGAS, NV – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that its global ecosystem of customers, developers and partners are embracing the company's ambitious vision for a new era of networking. Unveiled last week, Cisco's new network can recognize intent, mitigate threats, and learn over time -- representing one of the most significant breakthroughs in the history of enterprise networking.

This new network is the result of years of research and development by Cisco to reinvent networking for an age where network engineers managing hundreds of devices today will be expected to manage one million by 2020. Companies that are managing their networks through traditional IT processes will not be able to scale in this new age. Cisco's approach creates an intuitive system that constantly learns, adapts, and protects, to optimize network operations and defend against today's evolving threat landscape.

"Cisco is delivering a more intuitive system that automates the edge of the network and embeds machine learning and analytics at a foundational level," said Scott Harrell, senior vice president of product management for enterprise networking. "Intent-based networking signifies a paradigm shift for our industry and a completely new era of networking. It's exciting to witness our global ecosystem -- spanning three million network engineers, 60,000 partners, and 450,000 developers -- embrace the future of networking."

Already, 75 leading global enterprises and organizations are conducting early field trials with these next-generation networking solutions, including Jade University of Applied Sciences, NASA, Newcastle Hospitals, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Scentsy, UZ Leuven and Wipro.

Ecosystem embraces intent-based networking
To drive adoption of its intent-based networking solutions, Cisco today announced new training and developer programs to 28,000 networking professionals at the company's annual user conference, Cisco Live. Attendees will learn about the impact intent-based networking will have on their organizations and begin developing the skills needed in the new era of networking.

  • Network engineers: Today, 80-95 percent of network operations are manually configured. Intent-based networking automates routine tasks by translating business intent into network configuration, freeing up network IT teams to drive more strategic initiatives with the business. To help network engineers evolve, Cisco is embedding new skills into its learning curriculum. This fall, Cisco will introduce two new training offerings around SD-Access, building on the existing DNA training portfolio and Network Programmability training and certifications available for network engineers and application developers. To learn more, read this blog.
  • Application developers: The shift to open, programmable networks will create a range of new opportunities for app developers. As the network becomes code, and apps and infrastructure become more closely intertwined, app developers will gain a new platform to innovate. The new DNA Developer Center will provide Cisco's DevNet community of more than 450,000 developers with the tools they need to bring applications directly into the network and create smarter software.
  • Channel partners: The shift from hardware to software-centric networking is driving Cisco's channel partners to evolve their networking practices, develop new skills and pursue new business opportunities. Cisco is providing the programs, incentives and tools to help its partners build networking practices that incorporate software, security, automation and analytics for their customers. Read this blog to learn more.

Customer quotes
"IT can easily orchestrate global policy to secure, differentiated access for staff and students across multiple campuses with SD-Access' network segmentation. The new network from Cisco makes our IT faster, more flexible, and more intuitive."
--Ulrich Hauptmann, head of IT, Jade University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

"Catalyst 9000 creates immediate IT efficiency results with a straightforward and simple provisioning view across secure segments."
--Kevin Tompkins, network architect, Scentsy (United States)

"As a leader in state-of-the art healthcare services we depend on our 'always on' network. The resiliency, scale and management simplicity of the Catalyst 9000 will allow our network to securely grow as quickly as our needs grow."
--Thomas Noppe, lead IT architect, UZ Leuven (Belgium)

Partner quotes
"The integration of AlgoSec with Cisco SD-Access will enable customers to extend Cisco's policy-based automation across their entire network security architecture using a business-driven approach for end-to-end security policy visibility and automation."
--Anner Kushnir, VP Technology at AlgoSec

"Dimension Data is excited to see Cisco looking to reinvent the network. We have clients all over the world, and we're confident that by having more intuitive networks we will profoundly change the services that we deliver to our clients as they look to accelerate their digital transformation. Dimension Data is committed to helping our clients navigate their transition to Cisco's new network. We believe this will change the way we all view the network, and that it will further strengthen the long-standing partnership we have with Cisco."
--Rob Lopez, group executive, Networking, Dimension Data

"The integration of Infoblox's industry-leading IP Address Management platform with Cisco's SD-Access provides network visibility and automation when transitioning from static networks to dynamic software-defined environments."
--Prakash Nagpal, VP product marketing, InfoBlox

"In today's complex, multi-technology, multi-platform environments, Tufin's policy-centric orchestration solution combined with Cisco SD-Access will deliver a bird's-eye policy view across the entire network for better control, agility and security."
--Reuven Harrison, CTO, Tufin

"WWT is excited about Cisco's new intent-based approach to networking. Security is top of mind for every customer and this approach will fundamentally redesign what the network can do to provide a more intelligent and more secure network platform. WWT is committed to helping customers realize the benefits this new approach offers and to support them through the journey of migrating to Cisco's new network."
--Jim Kavanugh, CEO, World Wide Technology

Additional Resources

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems and Cisco IOS are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

MSPs Now Offering Enterprise-class BackupAssist Microsoft Windows Server Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) with Cloud Storage Options, as a Flexible and Affordable Service to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

 
MELBOURNE, Australia and BOSTON – BackupAssist®, a leading provider of automated Windows server backup and recovery software for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), today announced the launch of its BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS) and MSP Program into North America.  Already successful in 165 countries across APAC and Europe, the expansion of the programs into North America responds to the increasing demand by SMEs, and the MSPs that serve them, for enterprise-class backup and disaster recovery (DR) with flexible cloud storage options to meet today's IT and business requirements.  BackupAssist also announced today it has entered into agreements with DeltaCon, Inc., Extreme Technologies, and iSpeed Solutions to offer its BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS) to their North American end clients.
 
Regardless of size, business organizations around the world continue to face challenges around meeting service level agreement (SLA) requirements, response time objectives (RTO) and/or response point objectives (RPO).  However, while the challenges remain almost identical regardless of organization size - such as increasingly stringent compliance regulations and legal preparedness mandates - the level of manpower and budget available to address the issues are not.  Regardless, the consequences of not meeting these requirements can be dire.  Consequently, for SMEs the ability to ensure SLAs, RPO and RTO in an affordable fashion has risen to the top of the priority list for not only IT, but the C-suite as well. 
 
According to a recent Gartner research report entitled, "Modify Your Backup/Recovery Plan to Improve Data Management and Reduce Costs"* "I&O leaders responsible for storage must rethink their backup procedures to realize cost savings and improve backup infrastructure resource utilization. Cloud services can help your infrastructure modernization initiative, as they alleviate the burden on the data center backup infrastructure." The report also states, "Storage managers find backup delivered as a service is becoming attractive for a portion of the organization's data. Bandwidth limitations are addressed through data reduction and network optimization techniques, as service-based features and functionality continue to improve. Organizations are actively considering SaaS and cloud-delivered solutions to protect data in ROBO environments, as well as test-and-development data and endpoints, including desktop, laptop and tablets. Some companies are evaluating these delivery models for regional areas and at least a subset of their primary data centers."  The report further states, "By 2018, the number of enterprises using the cloud as a backup destination will double, up from 13% at the end of 2016."   
 
MSPs in North America can now partner with BackupAssist to offer BAaaS, in order to meet these end client requirements.  BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS)empowers MSPs to maximize profits and eliminate upfront capital by licensing BackupAssist as a monthly utility subscription.  In doing so, the MSP can win new business and grow existing accounts by offering end clients the ability to evolve their backup/recovery investment from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operating expense (OPEX).  MSPs benefit from zero upfront costs, large profit margins, automated billing and payments, a dedicated MSP Channel Manager for pre- and post-sales support, a dedicated technician, training, and marketing material.  MSPs also enjoy seamless management of end client subscriptions, seamless deployment of multiple licensees, invoicing, and real-time client alert messaging via the intuitive dashboard of the BAaaS Portal.  
 
"The response to BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS) thus far in N.A. has been tremendous, as it has been all over the world," said Troy Vertigan, Vice President, Channel Sales and Marketing, BackupAssist.  "By aligning with BackupAssist, our strategic partners can answer the call of SMEs that require enterprise-class features and functionality, ease-of-use and affordability from their backup and recovery solution.  Moreover, with the release of BackupAssist version 10, end clients can benefit from enhanced features such as cloud storage independence, encrypted backup containers, a 4x improvement in data deduplication and compression, and advanced application backup and recovery for Hyper-V, Exchange and SQL Server."
 
VARs, SIs and other channel professionals in North America, as well as around the globe, also have access to the established BackupAssist Perpetual Reseller Program which enables channel partners to benefit from significant discounts by purchasing BackupAssist Software upfront as a perpetual license, and then resell it to end clients.  The program includes high margins, lead generation, product training, pre- and post-sales technical support, marketing assistance, dedicated account management, local technical support, and more.  All partners are provided access to the BackupAssist Reseller Portal, offering the ability to place new orders, renew existing customers, manage licensing and migrations, view monthly statements and transaction history, and access NFR licenses.  Partners are also provided with BackupAssist's unique Multisite Manager which allows the user to securely monitor and manage all backup/restore activity from a single screen - enabling the management of deployments, backups, restores, and more with just a few clicks, from any device, anywhere. 
 
 
BackupAssist Partner Validation
 
"We have been focused on serving the IT needs of the SMB community since 1995 - a large and growing market that remains underserved in Louisiana, as it does in much of the world," said Steve Bordelon, Co-Founder, DeltaCon, Inc.  "And, while our clients know that its critical for their data to be protected and always accessible, so that their business can remain up an running - they either don't have the in-house expertise, or simply don't want the headache of managing their IT and/or backup/recovery infrastructure.  That's where BackupAssist comes in."
 
"We first came across BackupAssist a couple years ago when I was working with an SMB client that required backup and recovery capabilities, but didn't have the in-house expertise to manage it.  They just needed to know that it was handled - and, that the tools they would be responsible for managing moving forward would be easy and get the job done," said Joseph Gagne, Founder, Extreme Technologies.  "I was immediately impressed by BackupAssist's true 'out-of-the-box' experience.  I had tried other solutions including Acronis and NovaStor with other clients previously, but BackupAssist was by far the easiest to use - with a very intuitive and robust GUI, and it was offered at a much better pricing model." 
 
"The BackupAssist solution has provided our clients - as well as our own in-house IT - with reliable and predictable backup and recovery.  And, it isn't simply a chopped-up version of an enterprise-class solution, in order to make the price more palatable.  BackupAssist delivers powerful and precise features, functionality and control.  Moreover, our clients appreciate its flexibility.  Clients can define their own dynamic security and backup to network, NAS, RDX, iSCSI, local drives, tape, USB HDD, and of course cloud," said Greg Miller, Business Steward, iSpeed Solutions.  "And now as a BackupAssist MSP, we can offer our clients the ability to evolve their backup and recovery investment from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) into an operating expense (OPEX) - which is a particularly attractive option for the SMB."  He continued, "For iSpeed, that means we can deepen existing relationships, win new clients, and increase our bottom-line."
 
Tweet this: .@BackupAssist launches BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS) MSP Program in N. America https://www.backupassist.com/BackupAssist/news/ #Windows #SQL #Exchange #HyperV
 
About BackupAssist
Founded in 2002, BackupAssist has offices in the United States and Australia. The company specializes in automated server backup and recovery software for small to medium size enterprises (SMEs), providing protection for physical, virtual and cloud environments. The company's high value, multi-platform software is easy to manage and use, reliably supporting tens of thousands of customers in 165 countries. To learn more about BackupAssist, please visit http://www.backupassist.com or call 812-206-1691.
 
Resources:
 
* "Modify Your Backup/Recovery Plan to Improve Data Management and Reduce Costs" Gartner, February 14, 2017, By Dave Russell, ID: G00324422
 
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
The Business Continuity Institute

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There are only a few days left to book your ticket at the early bird rate for the premier event in the business continuity calendar in the UK - The BCI World Conference. BCI World is an absolute must-attend event for any business continuity professional, anyone in the wider resilience community, or anyone who has responsibility for business continuity within their organization.

The conference begins with a keynote speech from Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who, up until recently, was the most senior police officer in the UK as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. His national responsibilities included leading counter terrorism policing and protecting the government. He has extensive experience of policing major public events, many during a threat level of 'severe'. At BCI World, he will use the backdrop of current events to discuss the realities of managing a constant high threat level and the importance of trust and truth in developing organizational resilience.

Day two will begin with a keynote speech from Professor Kevin Warwick who is a world-renowned scientist and engineer, researching artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedical engineering. He became the world’s first Cyborg in a ground-breaking experiment involving the surgical implant of a device into his arm to link his nervous system directly to a computer. At BCI World, he will consider the implications of linking a human brain to a computer, types of implants that are being used today, and the questions this raises for security of data and people.

Ensuring there is something for everyone, whatever career stage you are at, and whatever industry you are in, BCI World is divided into three streams - actions, approaches and aspirations.

ACTIONS - These sessions are all about practical advice and key technical aspects of business continuity and resilience. This stream includes lots of ‘how to’ and will help develop skills and methodology that can be utilised as soon as you get back to work!

APPROACHES - This stream is for shared experiences, case studies and reviewing current practices with an eye on improvement and consolidation. You will hear lots of excellent personal stories, consider the challenges facing the modern resilience professions and hear some expert views.

ASPIRATIONS - This is a stream that is intended to move thinking and discussion beyond the immediate future and will include some robust debate! The intention is to provide programme space for thought leadership and to welcome the opportunity to consider where resilience is heading.

So make sure you join us at the Novotel London West Hotel on the 7th and 8th November 2017 by booking your place today. The early bird rate expires on Friday 30th June, so don't delay. Click here for more information.

(TNS) - Fire Chief Steve Achilles acknowledged many city residents might not know Portsmouth's (N.H.) hazard mitigation plan exists.

"It's the kind of thing that they might never see, but people can take comfort knowing that we're thinking about these things," Achilles said this week.

City officials recently released the 2017 draft update of the plan, which was put together by several city officials, including Achilles, Deputy City Manager Nancy Colbert Puff and other fire, planning and Public Works staff.

"It's a document that the city has had for as long as I've been with the Fire Department and it gets updated every five years," Achilles said. "It's looking at how to reduce and mitigate hazards ahead of time to minimize the impact of natural disasters."

One key part of the plan is to identify what natural hazards Portsmouth could face, he said.

...

http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/Hazard-Mitigation-Plan-Prepares-Portsmouth-for-Disaster.html

Cyber security software vendor Symantec today emerged as the only known western technology company to publicly refuse Russian government access to source code for its security products.

IBM, Cisco, Germany's SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and McAfee are among the firms that allowed Russia to conduct source code reviews of products, including firewalls, anti-virus applications and other encrypted software, according to a new investigative report from Reuters.

The reviews – intended to protect Russia against cyber espionage – are conducted by the country’s Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC), and the Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the KGB and the agency blamed for attacking the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

...

http://mspmentor.net/managed-security-services/symantec-takes-stand-against-russian-source-code-review

The enterprise has made great strides in curbing its appetite for energy over the past decade, but will this ultimately be a losing battle as demand for data continues to rise?

According to a recent report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the number of data centers coming online has seen a dramatic uptick in the past few years as organizations struggle to meet the always-on demands of an increasingly connected population. But the good news is that due to virtualization, low-power/high-density architectures and other developments, actual energy consumption has been flat. This is in stark contrast to the first decade of the new century, which saw energy demand jumping as high as 90 percent per year.

Still, leaders in the data center industry are concerned that the big gains in energy efficiency are over but the relentless demand for data, fueled in part by rapidly falling costs that are themselves the result of more efficient infrastructure, will put the industry on the fast track to dramatically higher consumption in relatively short order. At a meeting sponsored by DCD Energy this week, Donald Paul, of the University of Southern California’s Energy Institute, noted that once data centers approach a PUE of 1.0, there are no more gains to be had, since you cannot achieve more than 100 percent efficiency. And programs that encourage enterprises to reduce demands on the local grid also encourage the use of mostly diesel-power backup systems.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/infrastructure/when-data-demand-tops-data-center-efficiency.html

Many business continuity professionals can attest to the tension that often occurs between the business and IT when it comes to recovery capabilities. For example, Company X recently implemented a business continuity program, including determining recovery time objectives (RTOs) for key business processes. Like all well-established business continuity programs, the business impact analysis (BIA) considered the loss of technology and helped the company develop recommended recovery time (and recovery point) objectives for technology resources. The business documented and presented these RTOs to management following the initial BIA, but never followed up with IT to ensure that the capabilities could be met.

Meanwhile, IT leveraged its own application/system list and related recovery information to prioritize applications for recovery and drive the implementation of a disaster recovery solution that was cost-effective and aligned with IT’s conclusions of business requirements for recovery (created from data outside the BIA). Both the business and IT feel confident in their work; yet, neither have communicated with the other. Given that the groups have not undergone a joint exercise (or actual disruption), neither group is aware of the underlying gap: Recovery priorities and strategies are misaligned between the business and IT.

...

http://perspectives.avalution.com/2017/understanding-the-business-continuity-and-it-disaster-recovery-gap/

The Business Continuity Institute

Building resilience by improving cyber security, published by the Business Continuity Institute during Business Continuity Awareness Week, revealed that users are often choosing weak passwords and so leaving their IT networks vulnerable, and this vulnerability has now been realised at the UK Houses of Parliament. Over the weekend, Parliament experienced what was described as a sustained and determined cyber attack that forced remote access to be restricted for Members of both Houses, as well as their aides.

A senior spokesperson for Parliament commented: "We have discovered unauthorised attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users and are investigating this ongoing incident, working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre. Parliament has robust measures in place to protect all of our accounts and systems, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect and secure our network."

It was reported that the attack, which began last Friday, was specifically trying to identify weak passwords and gain access to users' email accounts. Ultimately this was successful with less than 1% of accounts, but this still amounts to about 90 people, and potentially results in sensitive data being exposed.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: "We have seen reports in the last few days of even cabinet ministers' passwords being for sale online. We know that our public services are attacked so it is not at all surprising that there should be an attempt to hack into parliamentary emails. And it's a warning to everybody, whether they are in Parliament or elsewhere, that they need to do everything possible to maintain their own cyber security."

While the restriction of remote access seems to have abruptly and effectively ended the attack, it left many Parliamentarians and their staff without access to their emails over the weekend, a time when many of them attempt to catch up with constituency work.

The report published by the BCI highlighted several ways in which users can take responsibility for helping to improve cyber security, and this included the use of strong passwords that cannot easily be hacked or guessed. By doing so it means that everyone can play their part in building a resilient organization.

Jargon crops up everywhere, and business continuity is no exception. RTO, RPO, BIA, and others are often sprinkled liberally into conversations, plans, and reports.

Sometimes expanding the abbreviation makes things clearer to the uninitiated: for example, the terms “recovery time objective” (RTO) for an IT system and “business impact analysis” for BC planning give some hint of what lies behind them.

But what about “recovery point objective” (RPO), also one of the commonest terms used in defining a suitable disaster recovery/business continuity plan? Would we be better off if we banned the use of such jargon?

Banning probably wouldn’t work. For one thing, it would be the curtailing of free speech, and for another, like weeds, jargon would spring up again anyway. We need a better way of managing business continuity jargon, recognizing that it also has its uses.

...

http://www.opscentre.com/business-continuity-jargon/

We all want to know something others don’t know. People have long sought “local knowledge,” “the inside scoop” or “a heads up” – the restaurant not in the guidebook, the real version of the story, or some advanced warning. What they really want is an advantage over common knowledge – and the unique information source that delivers it. They’re looking for alternative data – or “alt-data.”

From the information age where everyone took advantage of easy access to information, we are now entering an age where everyone seeks alternatives: new sources of information and innovative ways of deriving unique insights.  This is the “Age of Alt.”

We know that business leaders want to better leverage data and analytics in their decision-making. But more importantly most decision-makers want to supplement their own data with external data; 81% tell us they want to expand their ability to source new external data.  Demand for data is exploding.

...

http://blogs.forrester.com/jennifer_belissent/17-06-22-the_age_of_alt_data_commercialization_brings_alternative_data_to_market

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