|By Josh Mazgelis||
|June 25, 2014 03:18 PM EDT||
OK, I’m excited. The latest release of Neverfail IT Continuity Architect has landed with some of our most requested features and we just can’t wait for you to try it out for yourselves. When I got walked through a demo of the new features last week I knew this was going to be a big step forward for our new IT business continuity product.
If you’re not already familiar with IT Continuity Architect (sometimes called ITCA or simply “Architect”) then let me tell you briefly what it can do for you. Right from the start, Architect helps you establish exactly what you have in place today for computing infrastructure, applications, and most importantly, Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions for those applications and data. Once you define your Service Level Agreements (SLA) tiers for Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and start assigning protection tiers to your business applications, Architect creates a gap analysis between where you are with DR capabilities and where your SLAs state you want to be. Architect ensures that your IT recovery plans will meet business expectations and highlights any gaps in your protection plan so that they can be addressed quickly. Architect also provide ongoing monitoring of IT continuity, alerting you to changes in the environment, faults in DR implementations, and adherence to availability SLAs. There’s a lot more to it, but that should give you an idea of how IT Continuity Architect helps simplify an otherwise complex and time-consuming assignment.
Now, what is it that changed in this new release? I’m so glad you asked! There’s quite a bit, really, but these are the big things that really got me excited about this release:
- Virtualization platform agnostic deployment and management support
- Architect virtual appliance can now be deployed on any virtualization platform of choice (e.g. Hyper-V, Xen, VirtualBox, etc.) and no longer requires a VMware vCenter Server or VMware vSphere environment for installation. In addition, Architect can now also be managed from a standalone web-browser interface that eliminates the need for it to be accessed as plugin to the VMware vSphere Web Client.
- Role-Based access control
- Architect now supports role-based access controls that include “Administrator” level privileges that allow full access to all operations available within Architect, as well limited “read-only” privileges that enable users to view Architect inventory, configuration, and reports, but prevents them from changing any configuration.
- VMware vSphere thick client support
- In addition to being managed via a plugin to the VMware vSphere Web Client, Architect can now also be managed via a plugin to the traditional VMware vSphere thick client. Or, of course, you can skip the client and use the standalone web-browser interface mentioned above.
- Automatic discovery and tiering of common business services
- Upon deployment, Architect can automatically discover common business services and based on dependency assessment, auto-assign them to Protection Tiers. Application categories such as databases, communication, and web services can be automatically discovered by Architect.
- Linux blueprinting support
- Architect now supports blueprinting of Linux operating systems. A number of Linux platforms have been explicitly tested and certified against Architect. Other Linux platforms are also likely to be discovered and analyzed by Architect, even though they have not been explicitly tested as part of this release.
- Email based Alerts
- Architect now allows alerts generated by its monitoring services to be sent as notifications to configured email addresses. These primarily include alerts associated with any changes in SLA or availability status.
- Scheduling and Email Delivery of Reports
- Architect enables automatic generation of reports pertaining to dashboard summary views, alerts status and protection overview on a scheduled basis to be delivered via email to designated recipients.
- Network traffic accounting
- Architect can now capture and report on network statistics pertaining to incoming and outgoing traffic for all systems that can be successfully blueprinted.
- Inventory support for other non-certified BCDR protection technologies
- Architect now offers partial support for other BCDR protection technology solutions that cannot be automatically detected by its blueprinting process. This allows users to define custom protection technologies associated with these non-certified protection technologies, manually configure protection assessment as appropriate and assign these custom technologies to the respective entities. This allows for a more holistic protection assessment baselining process across the entire Architect discovered inventory.
- Filtering enhancements
- In the Architect Environment list page, users can now selectively filter the inventory list based on protection technology as well as operating system (OS) platform.
- Hidden entities
- Architect allows users to hide entities from the inventory that are not important for assessment of BCDR protection gaps or from an SLA management point of view. Users can also choose to unhide any hidden entities on demand as business needs change.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about IT Continuity Architect and worked on a lot of demos myself as well. These features really are great enhancements to the product. Being able to work independently of a VMware environment and being able to manually define protection types and capabilities for solutions that we don’t yet automatically classify are probably two of the biggest requests, right up there with automatic notifications and scheduled reporting. Whether you’re building DR plans for your own enterprise IT or private cloud, or if you’re providing BC/DR services to your clients or subscribers, Neverfail IT Continuity Architect helps make easy work out of a daunting task. Download a trial and get started today!
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 465
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Dec. 1, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 466
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
Dec. 1, 2015 01:15 AM EST Reads: 116
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EST Reads: 105
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 30, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 247
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 494
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 371
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 438
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 436
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 541
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 30, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 344
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 30, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 465
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 360
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 301
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 511
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 30, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 572
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 476
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 390
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 391
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 500