VMworld 2014: The Top 3 Topics (Besides Virtualization And The Cloud)

VMworld 2014

If you’re in IT, you probably feel pressure every day to protect your corporate data, keep your systems online and available, and make sure the whole kit and caboodle is recoverable. But how do you keep abreast of all the challenges and opportunities in the constantly-changing tech world? Well, going to VMworld is a great place to start! The Sungard AS Team had their ears to the ground at this week’s VMworld conference in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and they brought back some terrific insights to share with you. Clearly, everything is about the cloud, and virtualization is here to stay as companies seek not only to virtualize resources, but also network and storage. Here are the top … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-27-14

IT blogs

Have you ever heard of a ‘life hack’? For those who are unfamiliar, a life hack is a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way (as defined by Oxford Dictionaries). Trust me, there’s some creative ones out there, like using the sticky side of a post-it note to clean in between your computer keys (it works!). The point is, life hacks make our lives easier. But computer hacks have an opposite meaning. When a company is hacked, more obstacles arise than ever before. First it’s the cyber attack, then data is lost, and then companies must salvage what they can. Here’s a roundup of the recent hacker havoc and the ‘life hacks’ that can ke … Read more

Are Working Moms The “Mother” Of BC/DR?

business team of mother and son

Working moms spend every waking minute striving to keep their family life and work responsibilities—sometimes simultaneously—up and running. They run their lives based on contingency-plans for the “what-if” scenarios and recovery plans from the inevitable everyday disasters, all with the goal of minimal impact to home and workplace operations. If you’re out there earning the title “working mom” every day like I am, adopting a business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) mindset might help you in your everyday quest to maintain seamless operations at the office and on the home front. Since my recent debut as a working mother when I returned from maternity leave, I haven’t been able to help … Read more

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Putting Your Company At Risk?

Hacking information from LinkedIn

I’m a penetration tester. My job is to try to breach my clients’ systems in order to help them identify vulnerabilities in their IT security. In a nutshell, I try to find security gaps before the criminals do, so that my clients can shore up their defenses against hacker attacks. Someone recently asked me, “If you were a criminal hacker looking to exploit a company - inflicting the irreparable harm of a data breach - what’s the first thing you would do?” My short and easy answer: scour LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a treasure trove of easily accessible personal information and company IT data. Unbeknownst to most of the employees who post their information on LinkedIn, any hacker looking to wreak … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-22-14

IT blogs

It’s back to school week! I’ve just finished making the long drive back to campus, and I’m ready to tackle a busy school year. One piece of recent IT news particularly interests me as a college student: the Senate just passed legislation to restrict the use of students’ personal data for commercial purposes. It seems the government wants to slow down the reproduction of a student’s information without their parents’ consent and to keep student data secure in private companies. I guess that means no more random credit card offers in the mail for me! As I looked for the best IT industry blogs last week, a Forbes.com article about whether a formal degree is necessary for success in IT caught my … Read more

Resiliency and Recovery are a Matter of Survival: Play Our VMworld #vSurvivalist Scavenger Hunt

VMWorld Contest Banner

Harsh terrain, wild predators, sudden storms and… oh yeah, human error! It’s a jungle out there… In an unpredictable world, the ability to provide proven results in data and application protection and recovery could mean the difference between business resiliency and volatility. In other words, in today’s business environment, resiliency and recovery are a matter of survival. Can your company survive? Don’t let your business sway toward the volatile. Find out what you need to be prepared, and join us for some fun along the way. While traversing the halls of VMworld, follow these four key steps to ensure data recovery in the most extreme scenarios…and be entered to win $1,000 American E … Read more

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Sungard AS At VMworld 2014

VMworld 2014 banner

VMworld is back for 2014 and it’s taking place in the city by the bay, San Francisco! The annual conference, with its breakout sessions, lab trainings, and group discussions, gives attendees a chance to learn from thousands of IT innovators from different organizations about leveraging virtualization and the cloud. And, it gives companies like us a chance to reach curious folks like you and tell you more about what we do! What an incredible opportunity that is, one we couldn’t pass up. VMWorld is all about “bringing together thought leaders, subject matter experts, and IT professionals to immerse themselves in the latest in virtualization and cloud technology,” so come and immerse you … Read more

Failing Your Compliance Audits? Here’s Why

Theatre stage as a book

Audit. The very word brings on a state of nervous tension. Financial audits. Tax audits. Records audits. And in the business IT space, compliance audits. There’s good reason for that shiver of cold fear. In my conversations with clients, I have discovered that too many companies are failing their compliance audits, and they don’t know why. They’ll say, “But we prepared! We tested! Everything worked fine!” Most of the time, it takes me just a few targeted questions before I can tell them, “This is why you are failing your compliance audits!” For instance, • “Have you only performed tests on single aspects of your disaster recovery plan … without ever ‘putting it all together’?” • “Have you … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-13-2014

IT blogs

Our heads are spinning from all the news we hear these days: The recent P.F. Chang’s breach, the Russian cyber gang breach, and the outbreak of the Ebola virus – just to name a few. It seems as if the IT world is precariously perched on a cliff. But, ever-resilient businesses are finding ways to overcome these challenges! Let’s take a look at how they’re doing it. Obstacle #1: The Public & Private Cloud Public cloud is ahead of the private cloud in the race to be the best cloud option. Why? Simply put – it’s cheaper. Chris Haroun of Artis Ventures states the basics: “As the pricing point of major CSPs continues to decline, more and more enterprises will opt to run parts or all of their … Read more

Clutter, Chaos, and Confusion…Oh, My! How to De-junk Your Business Continuity Plan

business continuity plan

By Kelley Pidhirsky You bring on a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. It improves efficiency beautifully and becomes a critical part of your daily operations. Wonderful! Did you remember to put it into your business continuity (BC) plan? No? Oops. You have made your BC plan a master repository of all the information you could ever want in time of crisis. You’ve included data files, contact information, and all the rest of it. Great! Has any of that data or information changed in your production environment? It has? Have you updated your BC plan to reflect that change? No? Oops, again. Let’s face it. Because of the rate of change in business today – new SaaS applications, em … Read more

Buying Customized IT Services: Customize Where It Counts

IT Services

Buying widgets is simple. A widget is a widget is a widget: if you like the widget, you buy the widget. Done deal. Buying IT services is another matter. There are three types of IT services: • Standardized IT services. This is the IT equivalent of a widget. Everybody gets exactly the same thing. Many basic SaaS applications are like this: you license the application, and you use it as it is delivered. No fuss, no muss, no bother. • Custom IT services. This is like hiring an artist to paint your portrait. You want something that is totally your own, from start to finish. Custom all the way. For instance, if you want an application designed specifically for your business, you hire a pro … Read more

3 Dumb Questions NOT To Ask When Vetting Your Vendors For Business Continuity Risk

business continuity

Vetting your vendors from a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) perspective is hot, hot, hot these days. For example, the federal government put out specific Risk Management Guidance for national banks in October of 2013. In a nutshell, the guidance says, “You’d better make sure your vendors have it together if you’re doing business with them, and it’s on you either way!” Now, this is not new; don’t get me wrong. People have been shouting about the need for business continuity up and down the supply chain – any supply chain – for decades. After all, if one of your key vendors experiences a disruptive incident, it can directly impact your business. And that’s bad for everyone. … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-6-2014

IT blogs

If you don’t know what a “Sharknado” is, then you probably don’t watch the SyFy channel, or TV, for that matter. For those living under a rock, let me clarify: a “Sharknado” is a shark-infested tornado. But these sharks are hungry and irritated (I’d be too if I were helplessly spinning in a twister!), adding another level of danger to the natural disaster. Humankind has only seen this phenomenon and its mediocre special effects onscreen, but hey, there’s always a one-in-a-billion chance that this MAY happen in real life! How would you modify your business continuity plan to prepare for it? Fear not, our very own Tracy Hein has got you covered. Here’s her business continuity plan tailored to t … Read more

5 Best Practices For Leveraging Backup and Recovery For Business Resiliency

Recovery as a Service

Let’s talk about questions. Asking the right questions is key to getting the right answers. Some questions are too broad, such as, “How do I achieve business continuity?” With that question, where do you start? How do you focus? When do you stop? A better question is one that is targeted, like this: How do I leverage backup and recovery as a service for true business continuity and resiliency? Now you know where to start and how to focus: by studying backup as a service (BaaS) and recovery as a service (RaaS) and determining how and where they can effectively fit into your business continuity planning. You also know when to stop: when you have found a BaaS and RaaS solution that contr … Read more

What’s The Scoop On Big Data Hadoop?

big data hadoop

You’ve probably heard about “the wonders of unlocking the hidden data within your data.” That’s what “big data” is all about: taking the data sets you have already collected and mining them for insights and trends you can then leverage to advance your business. These data sets may contain structured and/or unstructured data, i.e., inputs from your shop floor, log files from your various systems … you name it, and you probably have a data set for it. But how do you actually go about mining massive amounts of data to find these hidden gems that can help your business? After all, data sets range widely in size, from 10TB to over 5PB. Many companies turn to Hadoop, a software engine that uses a … Read more

3 Ways To Improve Your BC/DR Exercises

BC/DR exercises

Disaster recovery testing has been around for more than 30 years but, unfortunately, most companies are exercising their disaster recovery and business continuity plans and capabilities like it was still the 1970s. No evolution. No improvement. No relevance to actual disaster scenarios. For the sake of continuity, resiliency, recoverability, agility, and all the rest of those good words, we’d better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. Here are three ways to do exactly that. Exercise strategically. Traditional exercises tend to have three major problems: 1. They exercise repetitively. “Let’s exercise what we exe … Read more

The Best IT Blogs: 7-30-14 Weekly Roundup

IT blogs

This week we’re talking all about serious business matters. From procurement to B2B marketing, what do you need to know to get ahead in a new era of emerging workforce and up-and-coming digital technology? Failing to keep up with the times will quickly send your business into a downward spiral. As The Godfather films famously coined “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” So, it’s time to leave your doubts, fears, and cannoli…and take hold of the future in stride. What You Need To Know About… Managed Services Your business is paying another company to handle all the management and administrative tasks of your applications. So you’re covered, right? Unfortunately, no, not when it comes to … Read more

7 Dirty Little Secrets Of Cloud Backup And Recovery

cloud backup and recovery

Cloud backup and recovery is, without question, one of the “latest and greatest” and “biggest and best” items in the IT arena. It’s hot – and getting hotter as emergent backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) vendors pop up like mushrooms after a heavy rain. However, before you throw all your data into the cloud, I want to tell you something. There are a whole pile of dirty little secrets surrounding cloud backup and recovery. Secrets that many BaaS and RaaS providers aren’t going to admit to, even when asked. Certainly, they’re never going to tell you upfront. But what you don’t know CAN hurt you. So, in the free executive brief 7 Dirty Little Secrets of Clou … Read more

The Best Cloud Computing Articles Of The Month

cloud computing

Think you know everything there is to know about cloud? Think again. Actually, a lot of people find the cloud to be a complex concept, but it doesn’t have to be! For that reason, we’ve created a special roundup this week getting down to the nitty-gritty. We’ll take a look at the fundamentals: cloud’s capabilities, where it’s going, and ultimately, what the cloud really is and what it isn’t. The Cloud Is… Getting Big Self-built and third party provided cloud is at 70% in 2014, but that’s expected to skyrocket in the coming years. So much so, that the now $41 billion private cloud market will expand to a $69 billion dollar market by 2018. But something still remains the same: security is a t … Read more