The News - Greener Data Centers is a global Priority; Economic downturn creates rough ride for IT on spending; Gartner: Modernize datacenters or risk doubling energy costs; Goal to Objective Mapping; Causality and IT Service Management; The CMDB
" It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ” – Albert Einstein
Greener Data Centers is a global Priority
“Now this is not something that is happening overnight, but it is picking up steam due to the recent economic slowdown. Earlier this year several studies indicated that the “Green IT” trend is slow to catch on. However, ever since energy prices increased and the economy slow down corporate management is looking for ways to save costs. Any manager or C suite executive responsible for expenses that looks at the cost to run a data center realizes that if there is an opportunity to save costs then it should be taken.”
Economic downturn creates rough ride for IT on spending
“On every here's-how-to-survive-the-recession list that Gartner Inc. analysts presented at the consulting firm's Symposium/ITxpo 2008 conference in Orlando last week, the No. 1 cost-reduction option that IT execs should prepare for involved people — in the form of hiring freezes, job cuts or flattening organizations by eliminating layers of management.”
Gartner: Modernize datacenters or risk doubling energy costs
“Datacenter managers need to modernize their operations, or risk doubling their energy costs between 2005 and 2011, according to analyst firm Gartner.”
Book and Product Recommendations
Visible Ops Security: Achieving Common Security and IT Operations Objectives in 4 Practical Steps
"Visible Ops Security builds upon the methodology presented in the original Visible Ops Handbook. It guides information security professionals in strengthening relationships with IT operations and development groups to advance IT objectives and business goals. It addresses the people side of IT, empowering security to work with operations teams to achieve closely aligned objectives and with development and release teams to integrate security requirements into preproduction work. The Visible Ops Security methodology helps IT organizations move beyond a focus on technology to address the core operational aspects of security. It complements publications that focus on securing the network, access, and data, including COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology), ISO 27001:2005 (International Standards Organization), and ITIL® (IT Infrastructure Library) manuals. It promotes effective teamwork, which helps security professionals ensure that security is built into key development and production processes. This effort positions the IT organization to meet business needs by delivering highly available, cost-effective, and secure services."
IT Audit / Internal Audit / Compliance
The IIA: Information Technology Guidance and Resources
The Institute of Internal Auditors has an excellent set of resources on IT that should be read by IT operations, information security, and auditors. Their Global Technology Audit Guides (GTAGs) are very informative and a great service to the community.
IT Process Improvement / Quality Management
Goal to Objective Mapping
“A significant challenge that organizations have is the alignment of functional area objectives to organizational goals. From a holistic perspective, an organization is a system of component functional areas assembled to achieve a goal. To optimize performance of the system, we need to ensure that the functional area objectives are properly aligned to support attainment of that goal.”
Causality and IT Service Management
“The noted economist Steven Levitt remarked in his book entitled ‘Freakonomics’ that the economics profession has the analysis tools but lacks interesting questions wherein to apply them. The management of IT would seem to be somewhat similar. Business management, notably senior management, has the tools to govern the IT organization but is thrown off by the technical jargon and thus tend to avoid determining the correct questions to ask. This is very troubling as the information technology (IT) function in organizations is both the source of much promise and yet also much disdain by senior management. IT differs in regards to line of business functions because of it being an enabler of other functions but regardless, it is still a business function that must deliver. ITIL recognizes this and recommends that IT provision services in support of the organization and those services must be properly managed to ensure that the organization meets its goals.”
The Perils of the CMDB
“Configuration management is the hub of data storage and exchanges between the various ITSM processes. Groups looking to begin their ITIL journey often attempt to start with configuration management because of the siren song of the configuration management database (CMDB) coming from tool vendors. The truth is that configuration management would not be my first choice to begin with.”
So, Is Your ITIL Project's Funding Cut or at Risk?
“There are reports of organizations either canceling or postponing their ITIL implementations. While there are many potential reasons for this, it is worthwhile to stop and consider what is going on.”
How Green IT Measures Up
“Green IT has always been about cutting costs as well as saving the environment, but in these extremely tight economic times, green IT is the color of money.”
Six steps to a green data center
“Environmental issues exposed by the media and driven by consumers have placed IT departments under pressure to develop ‘green’ data centers. Factors including the reduction of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in large data centers often provide the impetus for becoming green. A recent report issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlights the need for data center efficiency and demonstrates the increased pressure that IT departments are under.”
Data Center Rethink Needed, Warns Analyst
“IT managers need to fundamentally rethink their data centers in order to ensure that they become much more dynamic and less rigid, according to analyst house Burton Group.”
Security and Risk Management
Seven Practical Steps to Mitigate Virtualization Security Risks
Tripwire has authored a number of very interesting white papers on security topics. I especially like Gene’s documents on Virtualization.
Keystrokes can be recovered remotely
“Wired keyboards, like those found on desktop PCs, emit electromagnetic waves that can be read remotely, according two Swiss researchers. Researchers Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini of the Swiss Security and Cryptography Laboratory at LASEC/EPFL, were able to recover keystrokes from wired keyboards at a distance up to 20 meters (about 65 feet), even through walls, simply by reading the electromagnetic emanations of the peripheral device. The experiments focused on wired keyboards attached to a computer either by PS/2 or USB connections.”
Next president will need to make cybersecurity a priority, experts say
“In an election season dominated by concerns over the economy and the war in Iraq , cybersecurity hasn't exactly been a top issue for the candidates or voters. But it's a topic the next administration will need to focus on -- and as a high priority, according to several tech industry representatives, including two former officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a former White House cybersecurity czar.”
PWC: “Safeguarding the New Currency of Business”
Price Waterhouse Coopers’ new 2008 global state of information security study has been released.
Microsoft Bug: Patch Now, Patch Fast
“After Microsoft released an out-of-band update for a critical Windows vulnerability that allows hackers to execute a malicious Internet worm on users' computers, security experts are strongly recommending that users apply patches immediately.”
Healthcare / Bio-Informatics / Care Delivery Organizations (CDOs)
Food allergies increasing in US kids, study says
“Food allergies in American children seem to be on the rise, now affecting about 3 million kids, according to the first federal study of the problem. Experts said that might be because parents are more aware and quicker to have their kids checked out by a doctor.”
Placebos and the doctor-patient relationship
“What gives placebos -- substances with no known physiological effect on a medical condition -- their power to alleviate symptoms and ease illness? It's not what they're made of: the salt in saline injections, the sugar in dummy pills, or the nutrients in multi-vitamins. It's their ability to inspire the placebo effect.”
Human Error / Safety / Environment
Greenland Red-Flagged For Dramatic Changes Due To Global Warming
“As the summer sea ice loss hit yet another record this year, the Arctic continued the warming process, the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed. The changes are obvious, and one example of that is the surface ice of Greenland . The Arctic is suffering from fast and dramatic changes, and that reflects in a domino effect in the region, more clearly here than in any other place, James Overland, oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle and lead author of the report noted. “
McCain and Obama focus on confronting climate change
“Their ambitious proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions and lessen American dependence on fossil fuels are a sharp turn away from the policies of the Bush administration. While that reflects a growing call for action from many voters and business leaders, the candidates' plans also come at a time of considerable economic uncertainty that some say could sideline climate goals.”
Safety slip in Madrid crash also seen in U.S.
“The same failure by pilots to do a routine but critical task that likely led to a fatal crash in Madrid last summer has happened dozens of times in the United States since 2000, according to government data analyzed by USA TODAY.”
Global News / Business / Economics
How Toyota Plans to Beat the Downturn
“Time for investors to bail out? Not exactly. Even if Toyota 's earnings drop by half this year, the company's operating profits are still likely to exceed $10 billion. And with a solid balance sheet, more than $20 billion in cash, and a slew of new car initiatives, Toyota is better placed than most automakers to weather economic uncertainty.”
Destination Moon: historic day as India launches first space mission
There is great coverage of India ’s space mission. Be sure to check some of the stories out. This event further exemplifies how far India has come and the tremendous potential it has,
EU presses China to show leadership in crisis
“The European Union on Thursday urged more say for Beijing in international financial bodies but said China in return had to play its part in helping to resolve the current global economic crisis.”
OPEC Says It Will Cut Oil Output
“Stung by what it called ‘a dramatic collapse’ in crude prices, the OPEC cartel said on Friday that it would reduce output by a steeper-than-expected 1.5 million barrels a day. But that action failed to brake the price decline, and oil dropped 5 percent more by the end of the day.”
India surpass U.S. in information security
“ Bangalore : The tenacity of Indian firms to fix the loopholes in information security practices has strengthened their grip over the field surpassing their North American counterparts. ‘Security efforts of Indian organizations have surpassed those of companies in the United States and we expect this trend to continue,’ says Mark Lobel of PricewaterhouseCoopers.”
US News / Business / Economics
The Coming Pink Slip Epidemic
“When the dot-com and housing bubbles burst, it was easy to see what types of jobs would disappear. But these days as nervous lenders cower and credit contracts, virtually every industry is likely to be scathed in the widely predicted downturn starting this autumn. Nearly every business relies on credit to operate—just as they need customers to have spending power.”
Technology & Science
HP Tops Green Data Center Study
“Hewlett-Packard has been ranked at the top of the latest ‘ Green Data Center ’ Vendor Matrix, an analytical tool developed by ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) as a clear rating of vendor position in specific markets. According to ABI Research's announcement Wednesday, IBM and Cisco claimed the second and third spots respectively in the company's new evaluation of data center equipment vendor efforts to improve energy conservation and reduce environmental impact.”
Data Center Flywheel 101
“Data centers are power hungry monsters and even a short interruption in the main or the grid power supply can cause a significant loss to the company. Hence there is always a provision for back up power in case of such contingencies.”
A Look At Google’s Newest Data Center
This blog post has a picture of the new Google data center in South Carolina and speculates it may be designed for containers like Microsoft’s new facility in Illinois .
First LEED Certified Green Data Center
A quick post about the Advanced Data Center in Sac-Town that is the first data center to be pre-certified LEED platinum.
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