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Showing posts from March, 2017

Using edge analytics for data centre surveillance

Data centre surveillance has to be practical as it is not only about security  but operational effectiveness.  An example from the article here, is cameras that have face detection in the camera itself.
This means that a Network Operations Centre (NOC) is able to receive a picture of a person working at the data centre and tag the person on each camera.  The path travelled by that person is then automatically recorded by each camera allowing a more accurate analysis of the work being done within a data centre.

Mikrotik AP with CAP ability

Mikrotik's RouterBOARD cAP-2nD supports 802.11b/g/n and can be power by PoE. The perfect companion for CAPsMAN (controlled AP system manager), allowing you to control all your AP devices from one central location.
The simple, new-look cAP easily blends into the environment, perfect for our office.

Data centre rack power load balancing

By using Raritan’s alternate circuit phase sequencing, you will be able to more easily and efficiently balance your cabinet load. The approach simplifies deployment of IT devices and balances the three lines to get the most power headroom.  Also, tracing a power cord to a device becomes much easier and thus, unplugging the wrong device during maintenance or replacement will be less likely. Resulting in less downtime… always a good thing!

Read the blog post on Raritan's web site here.

Checklist of the information a manager of a NOC needs to have close at hand

This is a checklist devised by DS of the information a manager of a Network Operations Centre (NOC) needs to have close at hand:
Command and controlDate and time of current shift including start, finish and handover.NOC manager on dutyShift leadersService Delivery Manager on duty/standbyMajor Incident Manager on duty/standby Tiger Team status (refer here for process) echowhiskydeltaromeobravoalpha Red-Amber-Green (RAG) of the trenchesSecurityData centreAppsSupportInfrastructure NotificationsOngoing Service Level Agreement (SLA) or contract violationsAll Major Incidents All failures and outages Last 10 maintenance tasks completedNext 10 maintenance tasks scheduledPlanned continuity tests scheduled (inverter/generator tests, network path protection tests, business continuity or application high availability tests)Resources available to the NOCResources unavailable to the NOCChanges completed during the past week (includes the status on whether they were successful or failed)Changes sch…

NeDi - a great open source tool for network management

NeDi is an open source software tool which discovers, maps and inventories your network devices and tracks connected end-nodes.
FeaturesNetwork Discovery, management & monitoringNetflow & sFlow based traffic analysisIT Inventory & lifecycle managementNetwork topology visualisationLocate & Track ComputersSecurity audits & moreVM, DC managementPrinter managementBackup ConfigsIT Reports Read more about it here or contact DS to find out more.

Resilience In Complex Adaptive Systems: Operating At The Edge Of Failure

Video of Richard Cook at Velocity NY 2013 with the topic: "Resilience In Complex Adaptive Systems".  Richard Cook wrote an excellent article "How complex systems fail" which you can access here.  This article is a good read to reference when considering crisis management even in Information Technology even though Cook's initial work was within health care.
View the excellent video below:

EPI Data Centre Competence Framework (EPI-DCCF)

The EPI Data Centre Competence Framework© (EPI-DCCF©) provides a reference of 40 competences as required and applied at the data centre workplace, using a common language for competences, skills, knowledge and proficiency levels that can be understood across the industry.
Read more about the framework here and download from here.

Security of Corporate Networks in the Era of Data Surveillance

Download this excellent whitepaper "Security of Corporate Networks in the Era of Data Surveillance" here.

DS is able to advise on these and other network architectures.

MyBroadband Cloud, Hosting, and Security Conference

Genchi Genbutsu

Putting eyes on a problem is crucial!

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Video preview of Crisis Management Foundation - Risk

Preview of the Risk chapter in Crisis Management Foundation course.

To download copies of the preview, click here.

Video preview of Crisis Management Foundation - life cycle

Preview of life cycle chapter from the Crisis Management Foundation course.

To download a copy of the preview, click here.

What does a data centre do?

A plain English guide to data centres.

Building a new data centre

Lee explains on what it takes to build a new data centre.

Major incidents in Information Technology

Ronald explains how major incidents affect your business.

Microsoft data centre tour

As the engine that powers Microsoft’s cloud services, the Cloud Infrastructure and Operations group focuses on smart growth, high reliability, operational excellence, cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, and a trustworthy online experience for customers and partners worldwide.

We deliver the core infrastructure and foundational technologies for Microsoft's over 200 online businesses including Bing, MSN, Office 365, Xbox Live, Skype, OneDrive and the Windows Azure platform. Our infrastructure is comprised of a large global portfolio of more than 100 data centres and 1 million servers, content distribution networks, edge computing nodes, and fibre optic networks. Our portfolio is built and managed by a team of subject matter experts working 24x7x365 to support services for more than 1 billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 90 countries worldwide.

Tips and hints

DS always provides hints and tips in all its training.  Find out more here.

CERTIFIED DATA CENTRE PROFESSIONAL COURSE, Johannesburg, 19-21 April 2017

To apply to attend this course, click here.

Free tools for ITSM professionals

Preview to crisis management foundation training

Ransomware Defence for Dummies - download the ebook

Download the ebook here.

Cloud delivered enterpise security from Cisco Umbrella

As the industry’s first Secure Internet Gateway in the cloud, Cisco Umbrella provides the first line of defence against threats on the internet. Because Umbrella is delivered from the cloud, it is the easiest way to protect all of your users in minutes.

Read about the full product details here.

Using tiger teams during a major incident

Tiger teams have often been used in crisis management.  Tiger teams are groups of experts assigned to investigate or solve technical and systemic problems.  Thus, in an Information Technology (IT) crisis such as a Major Incident which is an incident that has occurred resulting in severe negative business consequences, tiger teams are a reliable mechanism to be leveraged.

Read the full article here.

The impact of cloud on a data centre design

Today, one can build a data centre around the globe, in any location, from any desk, anywhere in the world. The focus is on building applications and products, not data centres. You can run different environments, each in a different location/country, in parallel. The ability to do this means you are literally a globally company, regardless of your actual physical location.

Read the full article here.

The importance of the major incident process

ITIL mentions the Major Incident process as a special case of the incident management process as well its close relationship to problem management.  However, the Major Incident process requires greater clarity and specification as in many large enterprises the process is crucial for overcoming a crisis. A Major Incident typically defined as an incident with severe negative business consequences and an important duty of any designated Information Technology (IT) resources is to deal with Major Incidents in a structured manner.  We will address this important topic in a series of articles that specifically addresses the process and crisis management in general.

Read the full article here.

Tackling major incidents

Read the DS news article on the importance of the major incident process here.

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Being Transparent During a Crisis

A crisis can be one of the most stressful and testing events that you will likely have to face during your career. And they can make or break individuals, companies or any such group that is unfortunate enough to be dealt one.  Every organisation will experience a crisis of some sort during its existence. Crisis management and how a major incident is handled is one of the most crucial processes for an enterprise. A major incident, which is one with a significant negative business consequence, needs to be handled with a well-defined process which is not currently clearly defined in existing methodologies.  If you have done Crisis Management Training, then it’s likely that you are well prepared and the steps for managing a crisis are documented in your business continuity plan.  If not, at least consider the most important factor in any crisis – communication.

Read the full article here.

Worldwide Enterprise Videoconferencing Equipment 2016 Vendor Assessment

Download the video conferencing vendor assessment by IDC here.


Cisco TelePresence MX Series

The MX Series allows you to turn any conference room into a video collaboration hub—connecting teams, customers, and partners face to face at a moment's notice. Two MX Series product lines—the MX700 and MX800 Series performance line and the MX300 and MX200 Series value line—give you great flexibility to deploy and scale video with the needs of your business.

Read the full product description here.

End of life annoucement for Tandberg Codian/Cisco TelePresence ISDN GW 3241

Cisco announces the end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for the Cisco TelePresence ISDN GW 3241. The last day to order the affected product(s) is May 2, 2017.

Read the full announcement here.

End of life for Tandberg/Cisco Codec 6000 MXP

Cisco announces the end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for the Cisco TelePresence System Integrator Package 6000 MXP and Codec 6000 MXP. The last day to order the affected product(s) is May 14, 2013.

Read the full announcement here.

Importance of formal qualifications in data centres

Data centres are usually designed and built by a team consisting of electrical and mechanical engineers, fire consultants, architects and structural engineers, in conjunction with a number of others who are subject matter experts in their specific domains.  These teams should have the relevant experience and expertise to design and establish data centres. This is a highly specialised environment for this type of professional.

Read the article here.

Data Centre Design Principles, Guidelines and Standards

Over the past number of years, practising as data centre design and management consultants, we’ve frequently been asked about data centre standards or guidelines and which is the best to apply when designing a new data centre or refurbishing/upgrading an existing site. In our opinion there are only a few that are “up there”. To provide insight in this regard we will shed some light on the matter and offer guidance within the context of the African data centre industry.

Read the article here.

Where legacy operations management comes up short

Most legacy operations management products miss the point and come up short. Many of these products, although implemented are ghosts. They lurk around in buildings with limited or no business benefit. Their primary focus is on monitoring uptime. This is often referred to as a RAG tool: Red, Amber, and Green where Red signifies down, Amber signifies intermittent connectivity problems and Green signifies good connectivity. This serves a limited business purpose and cannot justify any return on investment. The product development has been focussed on reporting on acceptable situations, as opposed to providing equal focus on operation in dire straits. How is this limited view operational monitoring? All it does is give you a comfortable feeling. With this approach, there is no difference in the value proposition of a cheap ‘keep alive pulse’ or an operational management framework product using more complex protocols worth millions.

Read the article here.

How to move to the cloud

This article below by DS details on how an enterprise can move to the cloud using a basic assessment.  This assessment is outlined and can be used for determining the viability and selection of suitable cloud providers.  Although not detailed the provided outline should serve well as a starting point and guideline.

Read the article here.