Embrace the Chaos and Reap the Rewards

first_imgHow do you back up your data? A decade ago, the question was an afterthought for IT directors, and they could answer it in 10 words or less. Today, the question is top of mind for CIOs and nobody in the organization has a complete answer. To deliver the answers that the business needs, the backup team must transform its approach and adopt a service-provider mindset.Backup has become a top IT priority because it can drive the business. Companies recognize the competitive business advantages of bringing together the right information and the right people. Therefore, they want their IT investments to advance their information infrastructure, instead of merely maintaining the legacy environment. Unfortunately, IT organizations evolve slowly to minimize risk (e.g. data loss). Enterprises with high-performance trusted backup solutions evolve more quickly because the rest of IT can move more rapidly, confident in their backup safety net. Backup has become a CIO focus because it can accelerate IT and business transformation.As backup has become more vital, it has also become more fragmented. Concerned about the performance and reliability of legacy backup solutions, individual IT groups have deployed point products to address their localized backup challenges. For example, most enterprises have DBAs, Virtual Machine (VM) administrators and storage teams run one-off approaches for some VMs, databases, NAS servers or remote offices. The result is chaos: snapshots, database dumps to local disk, replicas, Virtual Tape Library (VTL), cloud, legacy tape and multiple management applications. While countless IT directors swear that they’re the exception (“We’re a [insert term associated with hierarchical control] company. Everything is controlled by our central backup application.”), the stark reality is that absolute, centralized control is an illusion.Why do these groups diverge from the central backup offering? First, the backup team does not meet their needs. Second, unlike a decade ago, each group can create its own solution. The root of the problem is that the three core backup technical trends drive the divergence.Performance. Backup and recovery performance drives customer satisfaction. With more VMs, consolidated applications, billion-file NAS servers, and remote offices around the globe, backup teams struggle to maintain service levels. Since businesses are pushing IT to improve services, backup remains a critical bottleneck. In response, hypervisors, applications and storage systems have built tools to help optimize backup (e.g., VMware’s Changed Block Tracking, which can enable 10x better backup and recovery performance). Of course, if the company’s legacy backup application does not support the optimizations, the other teams will find point products that do.Visibility. VM, application, and storage administrators understand that data drives the business. They worry about not knowing the status of their backups. They complain that much of the time-critical restore workflow is out of their control. They want more visibility into their data protection and more control over restores. If the company’s backup team does not enable broader visibility, the other teams will deploy point products that they control.Disk Backup. When tape was the only viable backup media, centralization was required. Most application administrators didn’t want to purchase, manage, or attach tape devices to their servers. Disk, on the other hand, enables groups to create their own backup solution.The need for backup performance and visibility drives other IT groups to explore alternatives to their centralized backup team. Disk enables them to deploy those alternatives.To meet business needs and remain relevant, the backup team must adopt a service provider approach. Enterprises cannot allow backup to devolve into fragmented silos, but they cannot force their users to embrace substandard services. Therefore, backup teams must abandon the legacy backup model that alienates their customers. While many CIOs want to buy a “silver bullet” product or service that “solves” their problems, the first step is internal with their asking customers what services they want.First, they’ll learn that the teams want a central backup group for compliance, reporting, infrastructure management, etc. They just want fast backups that they can rapidly restore themselves.Second, they’ll find that their users want a variety of services across different applications – from traditional backup to backup storage services to centralized backup policy and catalog management.Once they begin to understand their customers, the backup team can adopt technologies that will help them evolve their environment. The first buying decision is disk backup. Immediately, disk can enhance the backup team’s service levels and organizational credibility. Strategically, since disk backup is one of three core trends, the backup group needs a reliable, flexible solution that will support the evolution to new workloads and workflows.Transforming the backup environment, the backup team, and its customer relationships takes time. Each day we see customers at all stages of evolution. An increasing number of backup teams, however, have already become service providers that help accelerate the business. For each of them, their transformation began with the service provider mindset.Sometimes, the best way to gain control is to let go… and embrace the chaos.last_img read more

Capitalizing on Hybrid Clouds

first_imgIf CIOs and their IT organizations want to maintain their business relevance – and be in a position to expand their business contribution – they must leverage mobile and social, as well as new technologies and services for business innovation. They need to complete the shift to a services-based provisioning and consumption model. It’s also critical that they enable business to put Big Data and analytics to work, all while maintaining security and business continuity in an extended-platform world.All these roads lead to Hybrid Cloud.Hybrid clouds incorporate the advantages of both public and private clouds. They are more than just a bridge between the two. They offer access to a wide array of applications and services like public clouds, with the reliable performance and security for critical business applications of private clouds.The hybrid cloud model enables IT organizations to choose where they host their workloads. It also increases business agility – the flexibility to use a variety of services, the scalability to keep pace with business volume, the efficiency to keep costs to a minimum, and the ability to protect data and other technology assets.Want an even more rigorous definition? Hybrid cloud is an integrated, automated, scalable and secure platform for provisioning and consuming business applications, datasets and other technology services that originate either inside or outside an enterprise.We’ve put a lot of effort into implementations based on these criteria because it’s the capability companies need today. No contemporary corporation should settle for less.Heightened Security with Hybrid CloudOne of the immediate opportunities for hybrid cloud relates back to security. An added dimension to security today is real-time analysis of what’s happening across all of an enterprise’s networks. Traditional perimeter defenses are being redefined and supplemented to protect against the growing onslaught of cyber-intrusions.You can’t build a hard shell around the enterprise when your employees and customers can be anywhere anytime. On top of that, no one can prevent all intrusions, so it is increasingly vital to detect attacks and reduce their “dwell time.”Data analytics help spot anomalies quickly, isolate problems, and take action. This is like the non-stop, high-volume fraud detection applications used by credit card companies. It requires assembling, scanning and analyzing vast quantities of granular and diverse data. Hybrid clouds provide a scalable, efficient and manageable platform for these new “data lakes” needed for security analysis.In addition, securing sensitive business assets in the public cloud has become a serious pain point for companies. You have to negotiate how to map and recreate your security apparatus to fit into an external service level agreement. It’s laborious and results have not inspired confidence so far from what I hear. Companies lose data and transactions in public cloud failures. These public cloud security issues have limited the business flexibility that cloud is meant to deliver. This is not the case with hybrid clouds.CIOs know that their most important role isn’t provisioning and running the computing environment, essential as those activities are. It’s to encourage and enable their business to use technology strategically. This includes both implementing business strategy and formulating it in the first place. Hybrid cloud should be part of the business discussion today and the business capability tomorrow with the CIO leading the charge.This post is adapted from What CIOs Need to Know to Capitalize on Hybrid Cloud.last_img read more

AP source: Lawmakers threatened ahead of impeachment trial

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears. That’s according to a U.S. official briefed on the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday. Part of the concern is ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol. The threats and concern armed protesters could return to the Capitol have prompted federal law enforcement officials to insist that thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington in the coming weeks. Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.last_img

Philippine ice plant ammonia leak leaves 2 dead, 90 sickened

first_imgMANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials say two people died and more than 90 others have been sickened or injured after ammonia leaked from an ice plant in a fish port near the capital. Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco said an employee died after being exposed to the gas Wednesday. The body of a second employee was found Thursday. More than 90 residents and employees have been hospitalized. Ammonia is used as a refrigerant but could be toxic to people in large amounts. More than 20 have remained in a hospital, complaining of breathing difficulties and other illnesses. The plant has been ordered closed and won’t reopen until it puts in place additional safeguards. The owner has apologized to the victims.last_img

McKinsey agrees to pay nearly $600M over opioid crisis

first_imgThe global business consulting firm McKinsey & Co. has agreed to pay nearly $600 million for its role in the opioid crisis. In a deal announced Thursday with attorneys general for most states, the company agrees to make public documents showing communications with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and three other companies that have been in the opioid business. The settlement is novel because McKinsey did not make or sell the powerful painkillers but rather advised companies that did on how to boost their business. States say the company encouraged Purdue to focus on selling higher doses and to high-volume prescribers.last_img

Banquet raises hunger awareness

first_imgStudents, faculty and staff took on new identities Tuesday night for the seventh annual Hunger Banquet, sponsored by Saint Mary’s College Student Diversity Board (SDB). “Millions of people around the world, as well as [those] within the South Bend community, struggle with the challenges of poverty and hunger every single day,” SDB president and senior Kelly Reidenbach said. “While at Saint Mary’s, it is easy to take for granted all of the pleasures and luxuries that we have the opportunity to indulge in. The Hunger Banquet is a way for students and faculty to step out of their comfort zones and into the reality of poverty and hunger.” Identity slips were given upon entry to the Banquet, placing participants in either the lower, middle or upper class. The participant’s role determines what and how much food is placed on his or her plate. The Banquet simulated which economic class each participant was assigned to. Senior Anabel Castaneda reflected on the importance of the Hunger Banquet at the College. “At Saint Mary’s, we get placed in a secure little bubble,” Castaneda said. “At times, many forget that it’s a cruel world and it should just make students want to make a difference in the world.” Co-chair junior London Lamar hoped that the Banquet raised awareness of poverty and hunger on campus. “By making more individuals aware of the issues centered around hunger, injustice and poverty, there will be a greater chance to stop it,” she said. “The Banquet is truly a rewarding experience.” In addition to roles given to participants, SDB invited clients from the Center for the Homeless to the dinner, as well as a refugee family now living in Michiana. Through conversation, the guests shared their stories of hunger and despair with the Saint Mary’s community. Attendees of the Hunger Banquet were able to experience poverty for a night, which is exactly what SDB hoped for to raise awareness on campus. Castaneda said she was glad to be involved in the event. “It was a great opportunity to hear what it is like to actually be in poverty,” she said.last_img read more

Dance Marathon drive kicks off

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon may not take place until March, but fundraising efforts will kick off Thursday with the help of local favorite Let’s Spoon Frozen Yogurt. The Dance Marathon raises funds and awareness for the young patients of Riley Hospital for Children throughout the school year. The marathon engages the College and surrounding community in support of Riley’s mission, said Amy Tiberi, Dance Marathon president. Tiberi said she is excited to host Give Back Night at the local yogurt shop, which will contribute 20 percent of sales from customers presenting a voucher. “Let’s Spoon has been a great local business to work with and we greatly appreciate their support,” she said. “Just printing off our flier at smcdancemarathon.com and bringing it to the store will benefit our cause of helping the Riley Hospital for Children.” Senior Taylor Romens, a returning participant of the Dance Marathon, felt the choice of venue was ideal for the hot summer months. “I think that Let’s Spoon’s involvement with Dance Marathon is a great way to give back to the community while also promoting their product,” Romens said. “It is still pretty hot outside, so cooling off with a nice cup of frozen yogurt while giving back is a great way to end the summer nights.” Tiberi said she hopes to build off the marathon’s past successes. “Entering our eighth year is a really great accomplishment in itself,” she said. “We have now raised over $460,000 to date.” Tiberi said she hoped the charitable cause would draw interest from Notre Dame as well as the College’s campus. “One of our goals for this year is to have more involvement from Notre Dame and to continue to spread awareness across the campuses,” Tiberi said. “I personally hope that everyone on campus can identify with our cause to support Riley Hospital for Children and recognize that nights like Give Back Night and Marathon Night are for more than just dancing on campus.” Tiberi said the marathon offers the Indiana community more than financial support. “We are doing this for kids all over the state of Indiana,” she said. “That is why Dance Marathon is such a special organization, because it reaches the lives of many and fills many more with hope.”last_img read more

Leis show support for Te’o

first_imgAfter losing his grandmother and girlfriend within hours of each other last week, Irish linebacker Manti Te’o could have left Notre Dame and his teammates to be with his family in Hawaii. Instead, he stayed in South Bend and led his team to a decisive victory at Michigan State on Saturday. This Saturday, under the Notre Dame Stadium lights, tens of thousands of Fighting Irish fans will return the favor and display their support for Te’o during his time of loss by donning leis at the football team’s night game against Michigan. The “Wear a Lei for Manti” campaign was conceived at a Monday night meeting of the Leprechaun Legion when the student spirit group discussed the possibility of giving out leis to students at the pep rally before the Michigan game, senior and Legion football leader Rosemary Kelly said. “The idea was suggested at the Legion meeting in recognition of Manti’s allegiance to Notre Dame, his sacrifice to stay an extra year and his decision to play in the Michigan State game under personally difficult circumstances,” she said. “As students, we want to do our part and let him know that we value his contributions and support him as a man of Notre Dame, on and off the field.” Coincidentally, a similar idea was posted by someone unrelated to the Legion on the social media pages of The New ND Nation (TNNDN), a Notre Dame fan group committed to positive attitudes toward the school, within hours of the Legion’s meeting, Kelly said. Lynne Gilbert, a TNNDN volunteer who manages the group’s Twitter account, said the group helped publicize the idea via Twitter and Facebook on Monday. By Tuesday morning, a local South Bend radio station contacted Gilbert to discuss the lei campaign. “[The idea for the campaign] just blew up on Monday after we asked our Twitter followers what they thought of it,” she said. “We started a Facebook event page, ‘Wear a Lei for Manti,’ that now has 4,000 members, so it’s just been growing and growing.” The social media-driven publicity helped the Legion find a way to distribute leis to students without violating NCAA compliance rules about paying for promotional items in Te’o’s name, Kelly said. “We had to figure out how to pull it off without spending any money,” Kelly said. “Fortunately, a flurry of social media in the last few days has garnered support for the movement, and less than 24 hours after the idea surfaced, we had a donation for the pep rally, and we now have an opportunity to make the idea a reality.” Kelly said United Beverage Company of South Bend volunteered to donate 7,500 leis to the Legion to be distributed at Friday’s pep rally. At least 25,000 leis will be distributed Saturday from various sources, Gilbert said. Budweiser and WSBT have partnered to donate 10,000 leis for students on gameday, Brothers Bar and Grill will contribute 1,000 leis to the campaign and TNNDN purchased 500 leis with out-of-pocket money and donations received through its website. Gilbert said TNNDN’s goal in supporting the lei campaign was rooted in the group’s love for Notre Dame. “We really just want to give back to Manti and the whole team. Look what he’s done through adversity … just going out there and playing with his heart and putting it all on the field,” she said. “It’s a different atmosphere and the team is so unified, so anything we can do to give back to them, we want to do.” As a member of Notre Dame’s student community, Kelly said the movement holds even greater meaning. “Hopefully students will take a moment to think about what the lei means as they put it on. It is a sign of affection for Manti and a symbol of our support for him,” she said. “It is a nod toward what we, as a community, hold to be important in our representative student-athletes, and after this week, I think each student on campus will have a new awareness of just how tight-knit the Notre Dame community is and will realize that community does not end at campus boundaries.” For more information, visit TNNDN’s website, www.thenewndnation.com, and the Facebook pages of TNNDN and the Leprechaun Legion.last_img read more

Political scientist examines women in combat

first_imgReed Wood, assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies, discussed the role and impact of women in armed conflict in a lecture Tuesday at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. His research is one of the first large-scale systematic data collection of women’s participation in combat.Rosie Biehl | The Observer Wood, a Kroc Institute Visiting Research Fellow, opened the lecture by emphasizing that war and conflict are typically male dominated.“There is a large focus on war being men’s work,” Wood stated. “While occasionally women are seen as heroes, these stories are typically narrative accounts, in which the woman’s participation in war happens by chance, rather than her own decision.”Using his research, Wood aimed to revise the perception of women in armed conflict, demonstrating their roles and the importance of these roles. His research focused on two questions: what factors contribute to women’s participation in rebel groups in insurgencies and what impact do they have on group behavior and conflict outcome?To better understand what motivates women to enter into combat, Wood analyzed participation through two approaches. First, he looked at motivators that cause individuals to participate in combat. Next, he examined groups’ motivations for recruiting individuals. His findings showed that women, like men, typically join insurgency groups due to fear of violence and repression, revenge and the ideology of the group.“In general, men and women join insurgency groups for the same reason on an individual level,” Wood said.Finding this similarity, Wood examined female participation from the perspective of the group, by investigating what makes certain groups more likely to recruit women. On this level, Wood found that groups recruit women based on their demand for resources, tactical and strategic benefits and pre-existing ideologies.“Women are less likely to be scrutinized in society, and are therefore often used in covert operations,” Wood said.For this reason, terrorist groups are more likely to recruit women for operations like suicide bombings, in which the bomber must get close to the victim and remain unnoticed. Wood cited the Battle of Algiers, in which the National Liberation Front used women to plant bombs in crowded French cafes.After discussing what factors motivated women to join and to be recruited to armed conflict, Wood explored the direct and indirect impact that women have on armed conflict.In discussing the indirect impact that women have on conflicts, Wood highlighted the essentialist perspective approach, which focuses on the perceived inherent nature of women.“There is a general argument that women are less aggressive and violent and more compassionate and caring than men,” Wood said.Analyzing the impact of women through this essentialist perspective, Wood proposed that the inclusion of women in a group would make the group appear more favorable and less violent, consequently leading to earlier peace negotiations and help the group to gain more favor both nationally and internationally. Additionally, images of women in war can help to solicit international sympathy and alliances.In this sense, the inclusion of women could act as a sort of propaganda, demonstrating the legitimacy of the group’s cause.“It is hard to overstate the symbol of women in insurgent groups,” Wood said. “The inclusion of women can shape the public opinion, by demonstrating solidarity and legitimacy for the group.”Within a country, the inclusion of women can also be used to shame men into joining the cause, Wood said.“It send the message that if women are fighting, men should be fighting too,” he said.In contrast to the power of the essentialist view of women, factors such as socialization, selection effects and compensation could limit the impact that women have on changing violent dynamics of a group, Wood said.“In terms of selection effects, the women who show up to fight are the most likely to be more violent than other women,” he said.Additionally, given that war is seen as “man’s work,” women may feel the need to overcompensate and act more violently than men, Wood said. He concluded with the concession that the direct impact of women in combat is difficult to measure; however, although they are often overlooked, women greatly impact the outcome of conflicts.Tags: gender relations, Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Kroc Institute, kroc institute for international studies, warlast_img read more

ND freshmen take part in revamped Welcome Weekend

first_imgThe class of 2019 spent its first days at Notre Dame participating in events organized by the University and its 29 residence halls during this year’s Welcome Weekend, formerly known as Frosh-O. Over the course of the weekend, freshmen partook in a variety of activities alongside their classmates and older student ambassadors, which were designed to make the first-year students feel comfortable as they adjust to life away from home.Michael Yu | The Observer Freshman Andy Nelson said he felt a sense of belonging within the Notre Dame community when he pulled up to Morrisey Hall for the first time.“I just opened my car and everyone helped take my stuff to my dorm room,” Nelson said. “It helped me feel welcomed. Everyone had Morrisey T-shirts on and when I got mine, I just felt like part of the group.”Nelson said he enjoys the energy, community and faith that he has experienced at Notre Dame.“I went to a Catholic grade school and high school, so I’m kind of used to Catholic schooling,” Nelson said. “I liked how faith is an important part of school here at Notre Dame. Over Welcome Weekend, we had a lot of stuff centered around faith, like the opening Mass and the visit to the Grotto.”Welcome Weekend was led in the dorms by staffs consisting of current student ambassadors who worked to help the first year students move in and transition into their lives at Notre Dame.Junior Maggie Blake, Walsh Hall’s Welcome Weekend captain, said she thought this year’s Welcome Weekend was the best one yet. Blake said an event called “Ice Cream on Ice” was her favorite.“We did an event with Keenan where we went ice skating at Compton and ate ice cream,” Blake said. “It was so much fun. Everyone was having a blast and everyone skated, even the people who didn’t really know how to or went in not wanting to.”Blake said she wanted to highlight the sense of love and community within Walsh for the first year students.“I remember when I was I freshman, I was really nervous coming in,” Blake said. “Just coming to this place, where people love each other so much, made me feel way better.”Freshmen Kimberly Faust and Caroline Forlenza, roommates in Farley Hall, said their residence hall’s Welcome Weekend staff made them feel comfortable and excited to begin their time at Notre Dame.“They were really helpful just while moving us in and helping us organize our furniture,” Faust said. “I didn’t expect them to carry all our stuff for us.”Forlenza said she felt a sense of unity with her new classmates after the weekend.“When we were all at the Grotto, we were holding candles and they read aloud some of the concerns I’ve felt,” Forlenza said. “It was nice to hear that everyone’s feeling the same way.”Junior Jay Dawahare, the Welcome Week captain in Alumni Hall, said his favorite part of the weekend was teaching Alumni’s serenade songs to the first year students.“Every year we teach the Pups ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion,” Dawahare said. “The words are easy enough to teach, but the emotion behind the song and dance takes a skilled and passionate staff. Usually the Pups laugh at us at first, but by Sunday night you can see a few Pups serenading the women.”Dawahare said Welcome Weekend was a success, although he said he felt some of the changes this year have hindered the ambassadors’ abilities to welcome new students. Alumni Hall was unable to host its traditional Dawg Run across campus, according to Dawahare.“In general, there is too much emphasis on one individual, instead of the group,” Dawahare said. “Because a couple people might not want or be able to fully participate, they shut down the whole event. There are carts as an option for people unable or unwilling to run so they are able to ride alongside.”Dawahare said he presented Alumni Hall as a home and family to its new residents.“My goal was and still is to foster the sense of brotherhood and community that Alumni Hall is known for, and that has been integral to my experience at Notre Dame,” he said.Tags: Alumni Hall, Class of 2019, Frosh-O, Grotto, Welcome Weekendlast_img read more