Monthly Archives: April 2014

Keeping Things Cool

Regardless of an organization’s headcount or revenue, there is no denying that cloud backup is required by today’s businesses. It’s convenient (well, it should be). It’s cost-effective (well, it should be). And it’s scalable (well, it should be). If you want to protect your data, then you need to back up your data. What may not be as obvious is the cloud backup service that’s best for your particular business.

No one needs to tell you that there are many cloud backup companies out there. It may sound accurate to state that you have many options to choose from. But in reality, your options are not a numerous as a Google search for cloud backup services may imply. What you’re really after is the cloud backup service that’s best for your organization. When you are tasked with finding the best cloud backup service that’s best for your organization, there are far fewer options to choose from.

No business that creates cloud backup software is perfect in and of itself. We know that, you know that. When it comes down to it, it’s really the manner in which the business backs up what it sells. You can have the best cloud backup service out there, but without the best support for that service, the service may not meet all of your expectations.

Have you ever had a problem with something you purchased that you needed help with to get the product to perform to your specifications and to meet your requirements? Just about any product can perform to specs in a testing environment. That’s easy enough to do under controlled conditions. But in the real world, getting the product to perform the way you want it to perform can sometimes present challenges—even with the best of products. The truth is, the lab and real life can sometimes produce different results.

 

Man in front of a fan

 

I remember purchasing a new home air conditioning unit some years ago. The brand on the AC unit is considered by many to be the best on the market. The company that installed the unit has a service reputation that is second to none. But guess what? The unit malfunctioned two weeks after it was installed. This occurred during one of the hottest summers on record. I had no idea that the inside of a home could hit the mid-90s. One particularly lasting memory of this experience was dumping ice cubes into a 50-gallon aquarium to keep our finned pets alive. No joke, the water was even too warm for our tropical fish. Some kicked the bucket (“Daddy, why is Dori floating upside down?”). Sure, we were disappointed that the AC unit wasn’t pumping out cold air, but we weren’t frustrated. I will tell you why. We called the company, patiently described the problem (“we’re hot as hell”), and kindly explained that we expected the problem to be fixed quickly. We paid good money for a product and service from the best in the business.

A service tech was at our home before we could pour another lemonade. The problem required a bit of troubleshooting, but the unit was repaired that day. Today, I can’t recall the specifics of the problem (it had something to do with our breaker box), but what I still remember very clearly is this: the service tech was friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and spoke to us as if we were important to their business and reputation. More than 20 years later, our AC unit is still keeping us cool.

Here are some important points to consider about Mozy cloud backup:
•    Mozy by EMC is the most trusted name in cloud data protection.
•    Mozy backs up more than 90 petabytes of data worldwide.
•    Should you ever experience an issue or have a question, Mozy provides 24x7x365 U.S.-based support, which gives you access to our pros anytime you need them.
•    Mozy offers additional services, including Professional Services and Managed Services.

It’s no secret that we here at Mozy believe that we offer the very best cloud backup service for your organization—any organization—whether you’re an SMB or a large enterprise. Cloud backup and recovery is what we do, and we believe we do it better than anyone else. Your business is important to us, so we’re here for you. Now that’s pretty cool in this day and age when so many claim to be the best but don’t back it up.

Women of the world: The computing world needs YOU!

Women in tech

Here at Mozy we appreciate diversity and believe that we need more women in technology and especially in computer science. High-school age young women take 56% of all Advanced Placement tests; however, only 19% of the AP Computer Science tests are completed by girls. In 2012, 26% of computer and math jobs were held by women. Women earn 57% of all undergraduate degrees, but only 18% of computer science and information systems degrees. And the differences are getting more pronounced every year; for example, in the 1980s women received 37% of the computer science degrees awarded in the United States.

At Mozy we are concerned about the growing technology gender gap and are proud to support organizations such as the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Award for Aspirations in Computing. This award honors young women active and interested in computing and encourages them to pursue their passion for technology. We want these young women to know that we are excited about their interest and aptitude in computing!

Mozy and EMC are enthusiastic sponsors of our local Award for Aspirations in Computing and were honored to be signature sponsors of the award ceremony last May. Through mentorship, sponsorship and gifts, we are proud to celebrate the achievements of these young women and their aspirations in pursuing careers in computing. We are excited about the future accomplishments of these young women and look forward to their contributions in shaping the world of technology and inspiring others to do the same.

Looking for a career?  Check out Mozy’s current openings! http://mozy.com/about/careers

Sources:

http://www.uvu.edu/uwlp/research/snapshots.html – The Status of Women Leaders in Utah Business

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57632843-78/computer-science-utah-education.html.csp - Report lauds Utah’s computer science Education

http://national.deseretnews.com/article/665/Code-secrets-The-real-reasons-why-girls-need-to-become-computer-geeks.html – Code secrets: The real reasons why girls need to become computer geeks

https://www.ncwit.org/resources/numbers

Glasses for the masses, but not for me…yet

You’re probably aware that Google Glass will be more widely available before the end of the year. For the most part, sales of Google Glass have been limited to a small group of people, including developers and others, who join Google’s Explorer program by invitation. The purpose of the Explorer program is to shape the future of Google Glass.

But just the other day, Google announced that it would sell Google Glass during a one-day sale on April 15. I guess tax day was the perfect time to decide what to do with your tax return. That had a lot of people excited.

“Every day we get requests from those of you who haven’t found a way into the program yet, and we want your feedback too,” said the folks at Google. “So in typical Explorer program fashion, we’re trying something new.”

According to Google, Google Glass is for everyone from moms to mountain climbers. That doesn’t sound like it includes me, but maybe it does. I am a dad and I like to hike. And I am from the United States and over 18 years old, two other requirements to purchase Google Glass.

I didn’t take advantage of Google’s April 15 offer. But I have to be honest: I don’t think I want a pair of Google Glass. Why? I’ve been thinking about the $1,500 price tag, not including tax.

I could probably afford a pair of Google’s spectacles. After all, I am getting a tax return this year. Although I owe the state $750, I’m getting a bit more than $1,500 from the feds. I’ve been thinking about all of the things I can do with that money. We need new shingles, but since $1,500 doesn’t even come close to replacing the roof over our heads, I think that can wait another year. And I will be needing new tires for my car. But that can wait until the next inspection. But, my anniversary is approaching in a few days. I could take my wife to a nice dinner, the theatre, and even buy her that beautiful lithograph I saw her admiring in a local gallery last month. And I’d still have some cash left over.

Google Glass has helped me to see more clearly that I don’t need to see and enjoy everything through technology. I still have my smartphone, my laptop, and my desktop. For now, that’s enough.

OK, maybe there are days when Google Glass sometimes sounds a bit appealing to me. Maybe I’m half way there. But as I look at the people who are modeling Google Glass, I just don’t look that sophisticated let alone that beautiful/handsome/sexy. Maybe a monocle would be more my style. Google Monocle? Maybe I’m on to something. I’ll wait to see if the Explorers contact me.

Data Loss Prevention – 4 Crucial Tactics for your Business

If you own or operate a business, you know how important it is to protect your data from internal and external threats. Losing data negatively impacts you, your customers, and your stakeholders. If you want to avoid financial loss and damage to your company’s reputation, make sure you’re managing its data in a safe and secure way.

With that said, here are four crucial data-loss prevention tactics.

Develop a sound plan

Your data protection strategy should include a range of controls and protective measures at different points in the data lifecycle (collection, use, transit, storage, archival, and destruction). Implementing a sound data-loss prevention plan with other protection technologies, like encryption and file destruction, is key to your overall success. You should also look into utilizing a cloud backup system. That way, even if your devices fail, your data will be safe. More than half of all U.S. businesses are using some sort of cloud storage system already!

When deciding on a data-loss prevention vendor, carefully consider and examine each company to ensure that it provides comprehensive solutions, centralized workflow capabilities, integrated policies, and customized reporting. The vendor you choose should also offer you a program that has capabilities across three vectors: data at rest, data in motion, and data at endpoints.

While you might overlook it, it’s also important to involve your stakeholders from the start of plan development. This ensures that all parties understand your business’s requirements and how they’ll affect operations, employee behavior, and company culture.

Linking your data-loss prevention plan with key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you measure your company’s performance and the effectiveness of the strategy you’ve developed. KPIs commonly used include percentage of network coverage, number of incidents concerning data leaks, and percentage of application coverage. To make this process easier, eliminate reporting that doesn’t directly involve your data-loss prevention plan or KPI strategy.

Increase employee effectiveness

When dealing with your employees, the first action you should take is to assign roles and responsibilities to them, providing in-depth training and outlining what you expect. A detailed, accountable, and informed staffing model will help you determine how the different functional areas of your company factor into the plan, design, implementation, and operation of your data-loss prevention solution. You also include your stakeholder’s role in this plan.

Remember though, some employees might consider your vendor of choice intrusive. It’s important to gauge your company’s culture so you can establish protections that are vital to it without being too invasive. The goal here is to complete a smooth implementation of your data-loss prevention strategy. Also remember to identify data owners, establish close relationships with them, and engage with them in effective and ongoing communications.

Streamline and simplify your processes

When establishing a data-loss prevention program, the most important step you can take is identifying your most sensitive data and assigning it a classification. Doing this will aid you in creating the right policies you need to detect and respond to incidents that involve sensitive data leaks. It also helps your company understand what data is most important and how it should handle and protect that data.

Conducting a data protection assessment will allow you to analyze the existing process controls and technology, finding any gaps within the system. Make sure that you include all areas of the company, document the location of the sensitive data, estimate the exposure it faces, and measure the potential magnitude of the loss. Doing so will help you develop processes that are simpler, yet more efficient.

Use technology to detect and prevent data loss

You should aim to deploy modular solutions that offer the maximum coverage with minimal internal disruption. This makes it possible for your company to implement robust data protection solutions as technologies mature and your business needs dictate.

Underestimating the threats to your data can prove to be a major mistake. If you want to protect your company and avoid an unfortunate future situation, keep these four points in mind when developing a sound strategy.

Has your company developed and implemented a data-loss prevention plan? How has it worked so far?

 

* DJ is a freelance writer who focuses on technology and business. He has an entrepreneurial mindset and passion for story telling. You can follow his musings on Twitter @MillerHeWrote.

 

Thoughts about Backup and Recovery from the Coop

Recently, I was cleaning out the chicken coop. Yeah, you heard right: the chicken coop. When I finished, everything looked good—clean straw, better smell, happy hens, and probably happy neighbors. As I was putting away the tools of the trade (rake, trash can, and gloves), I noticed a small hole in the fence. Not too large, but big enough to allow the neighbor’s cat to enter and do some serious damage to our source of fresh eggs. I quickly repaired the fence. That got me thinking about backup and recovery (hey, inspiration comes from many sources, and that apparently includes cleaning the chicken coop).

If a business isn’t backing up its data and has never had reason to recover an important lost, stolen, or missing file, how likely is it that the business is going to heed the call to start securely backing up its data? After all, if the business hasn’t had to recover data yet, why worry? What are the odds that something is going to happen that will require data recovery? Actually, the odds are not in anyone’s favor, whether it’s an individual, an SMB, or a large organization. The odds, which include hardware failure, software issue, accident, an honest mistake, disaster, etc., are stacked against you. At some point, you will need to restore your files. But if you haven’t backed it up, you’ll wish that you heeded the call to safeguard your data.

Consider the following: 20,000 hard drives fail in the United States every day; 60 percent of companies recognize that their business would be in serious jeopardy after 48 hours without their data; and more than 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen every week. That 12,000 figure accounts for lost or stolen laptops at just U.S. airports, and it doesn’t begin to account for laptops left in taxis or rentals or coffee shops or….

Disasters such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy underscore the need for data protection in the event of both unanticipated and anticipated disasters. Even anticipated disasters can be devastating, depending on the severity of the event and unforeseen consequences. Proper backup protection ensures that an organization’s data is adequately protected in the event of a disaster and that lost or damaged data can be recovered in a timely manner with the least amount of disruption to the business.

So even if you’re backing up, that may not be enough in the event that something unexpected occurs. For example, let’s say that you’re backing up to a network attached storage device. All is good, right? The short and simple answer: No. If the drive fails, what are your options? How will you get your files back if you can’t access the drive? And what if you forgot to back up or schedule a backup altogether?

As you evaluate your backup protection options, consider the following:

• Do you have a consistent strategy for backing up desktops, laptops, and servers?
• Is backing up remote and branch offices a major headache? (Are you even consistently backing up remote and branch offices?)
• Are you taking advantage of the convenience and speed of local backup and restore with the offsite protection of cloud backup?
• Are you compromising security for convenience?
• Are you able to access your data anywhere, anytime?
• Do you have control over company data?
• Do you have a set-and-forget backup solution that you don’t have to constantly monitor?
• How easy is it to recover data? And just as important, how quickly can it be done?
• Do you have a backup solution that’s flexible, scalable, and meets your needs?
• Do you have a limited capital expenditure budget to spend on backup?
• If you have a backup or restore issue, do you have 24x7x365 support that understands your technical configurations and can help you solve the issue quickly?

Remember the tools of the trade: simple, secure, and affordable backup that’s scalable and that includes quick methods to restore your data, and a professional support team that you can depend on whenever you have questions or are pressed to solve a problem quickly. The right tools make the job easier and help prevent unnecessary worry. Who doesn’t want peace of mind? After all, no one wants to find a torn fence or, even worse, discover that a cat has entered the coop.

My name is Heidi and I work for Mozy

It’s time to get to know another Mozy employee. The more you know us, the more you love us. Meet Heidi Hanawalt, who is a Mozy billing specialist.

 

I define my workspace as…

Mobile. I have changed cubicles so many times that I’ve lost track, but I’m happy to say I’ve kept the same chair from day one (three years now!). I have my kids’ artwork tacked to almost every wall and then of course Jacob of Twilight fame, to protect me from vampires. ☺

A device I can’t live without….

There isn’t one. I grew up without electricity, which was awesome! So, I don’t really get attached to “devices” and I try to unplug as much as possible when I’m not at work. We did have a Nintendo Entertainment System once when I was a kid, but we had to start the generator if we wanted to play it. ☺  P.S. I kicked butt at Duck Hunt.

When I arrive at work, I typically start my day off by…

Filling up my water bottle and then checking out the Drudge Report while all my tabs are loading. I don’t watch TV at home so this is the only time I get updated on world events. Then, off to Aria land I go.

My work routine is…

Prioritize my emails—ones from the boss get answered first—check my tasks in Sales Force, and then check Redmine tickets, which is where I mostly live. I help sales, finance, and support with billing issues.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …

I do listen to music at work. I usually have some Pandora station on. The station I listen to depends on the mood I’m in. Some of my favorite stations are Keith Urban, James Morrison, KT Tunstall, Jack Johnson, and Enya. (I usually listen to the last one when things are hectic and I need to calm myself. ☺)

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …

Well, first of all, congratulations on graduating! I would also say, have fun! Numbers day in and day out can be challenging, so make a game of it. I like to think of the tasks I take on as a mystery I have to solve. I go back through all the data and details and find clues or pieces that fit and then, ta-da! Mystery solved. I’m a total nerd about it, but it’s a good feeling. A huge thing too is always double-check your work. Sometimes I get lazy and forget and it always comes back to bite me.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

My family! I love spending as much time as I possibly can with my kids. My favorite thing to do is take them up the canyon and just toss a football around or lie on a big blanket and read books out loud. I’m also passionate about food. But it has to be quality food. I actually think I might be motivated by food the way some people are motivated by money. And the outdoors; camping, sports, hiking. Hooray for summer!

My eating habits are …

I’m kind of a grazer. I could snack all day. I try to bring healthy snacks to work like cucumbers and cherry tomatoes because if I don’t I’ll just end up snacking on what’s in the break room, and we all know how healthy that is. But I love all kinds of food—cheeses and soups and breads and pastas and meats and fruits and desserts. The list goes on and on and on and on.

If I could be someone for a day, I would be …

A girlfriend of my mom’s while she was in high school. (I can go back in time right?) I just think it would be so cool to see what kind of teenager she was. She went to an all-girls Catholic school in Texas, uniforms and everything, but I heard she kind of walked on the wild side. I would have loved to have hung out with her for a day.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …

Determination. I never give up. I might get exhausted and tired, but I always get back up. I thank my mom for that. Whenever I messed up or things weren’t going my way she would sing this little rhyme to me, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. “

Expanding the Data Protection Continuum with the Cloud

Vince Lombardi once famously said: “We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.”

A few years back, Mozy shook up the idea of what a “perfect” backup strategy looked like. Computer usage had changed with laptops becoming the preferred tool of mobile workers. By and large, many businesses simply gave up on trying to protect data stored on devices at the edges of the network.  A “perfect” end user data protection strategy consisted of a successful nightly backup of the file servers. Few gave laptops a second thought. With the expansion of the data protection into the cloud, the “perfect” backup just got even more excellent than before.

Since first launching Mozy in 2006, we’ve continued to enhance our service to better support your organization’s data protection strategies. We started with backup for Windows endpoints and then bridged the continuum further by adding support for Mac endpoints and later Windows and Mac servers. With continued investment in research and development, Mozy backups got faster and more efficient so larger data sets could be protected. In September 2011 we introduced the Mozy Data Shuttle, accelerating the backup of large data sets in the cloud. This past year we introduced Mozy Sync which enables data to be securely accessed across desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, further unleashing employee productivity.

Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re expanding the continuum even further into the cloud with the launch of Mozy data protection for Linux servers.

Why?  Because information is the lifeblood of your organization and we understand your challenges in trying to protect data, wherever it resides. Desktops, laptops, mobile devices, or servers at branch offices; it all needs to be protected and made available whenever and wherever your employees need it.

That’s also why Mozy is included in the EMC Data Protection Suite – a comprehensive portfolio of data protection solutions from the leading provider of backup, recovery, availability, and archiving solutions.

But that’s not all we’re announcing today. Mozy is also making your data protection journey to the cloud even more secure with the addition of three new features:

1) Corporate Key Support for Mozy Sync
With the introduction of C-Key encryption support, your organization may now choose to utilize your own secure encryption key with the popular Mozy Sync feature.

2) Enhanced LDAP Support
Our new on-premise connector interfaces directly with your LDAP-capable directory service and pushes account information to Mozy. Because your directory service does not need to be exposed externally, this makes automated user provisioning and management more secure.

3) HIPAA Compliant Data Protection
The latest iteration of the Mozy service includes a new one-click custom configuration setting to ensure end-user data is protected in accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) guidelines.

Like the legendary Coach Lombardi, we will continue in our relentless chase of data protection perfection at Mozy and EMC. The rules of the game are simple: Protect your data and make sure it’s there when you need it.

We hope you enjoy the new features.

When High Tech Touches Your Food

It’s not a stretch to say that high tech touches everything these days. You almost certainly own a smartphone or tablet (probably both), which you no doubt use for any number of ways to make your life easier, faster, and more convenient. Now you can add one more thing to that list: How to buy the perfect steak.

And while you definitely don’t want anyone touching your food, when high tech does it, there are benefits. Read on.

Codes, calories, and consumer confidence

Steak and other cuts of meat have gone high tech in Thailand and other countries. And not just beef, but pork, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, frozen food, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals.

Consumers simply use their smartphones or tablets to scan the QR code—those blocks of black and white squares typically used for storing URLs and other information—on the food package to trace the history of the contents. For example, you want to know about the producer, the farm, the slaughterhouse of your steak? Just scan the QR code. It’s a great way for consumers to get information about the freshness and quality of the food they are buying.

But there’s even more information to be had from that QR code. You want all of the nutritional information—vitamins, minerals, calories, and fat content? Scan the QR code. What about favorite recipes—what’s the best way to cook your steak? You got it: scan the QR code.

Information is power, and when it comes to food, not only does information help to establish safety measures and help to ensure quality, it’s a great way to instill consumer confidence.

The new fast food?

Is fast food not fast enough for you? Maybe delivery to your front door step (or your neighbor’s roof, depending on the strength of the wind) via parachute is the next step in food convenience. Some folks Down Under have come up with a clever way to deliver your calories. While the QR code gives you information about your food, the parachute delivers your food. Although it’s certainly a new twist on food delivery, it’s probably not too practical. However, maybe a floating piece of toast with melted cheese will satisfy your craving for something “light.” I’d say Swiss cheese just got lighter.

Maybe food by parachute is not the next trend. But how would you know if it is? Food Genius might. The big data startup claims it is able to detect future food trends. Lately, Food Genius has been aggregating data from restaurant menus and has determined that burgers are one of the most popular foods in the country. Maybe you already thought that, but what you might not know is that peppers are a more popular topping than pickles. And if you like cheese on that burger, cheddar is the most popular cheese for primping the patty.

I’m no genius, but they might be on to something. Dang, I’m getting hungry all of a sudden. Maybe something topped with peppers. And cheese! Hmm, I wonder if that can be delivered by parachute? Who would refuse a peppered patty provided by parachute?

Improving efficiencies

Not only is high tech figuring out food trends, high tech is also helping restaurants increase efficiencies.

Avero’s  software lets restaurants track purchases and voided items at the time of transaction. Restaurants can use that information to improve service, increase sales, and identify employees who might be stealing food, like burgers topped with peppers and cheddar cheese. This type of information is vitally important to staying in business when you consider that pre-tax margins for restaurants is a scant three to five percent. If profits were food, those would be low in calories.

But let’s say you didn’t like your burger (because you never really liked peppers), you could use Punchh’s mobile app to share your disappointment by writing a review. But if you loved that burger because it was dominated by those peppers, you could proclaim the virtues of the pepper-topped patty. Pucch’s app does more than just provide a way to share your gastronomical experience. Restaurants can use the app to let you sign up for their loyalty programs, take surveys, or even order your next burger. That’s one small touch to get your hands on the next great burger.

Using the cloud to help prevent waste

And because we’ve been talking about food and high tech and how the two get along (unlike those nasty gray peas that rolled into your applesauce when you were a kid), what about the food that goes uneaten? According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a whopping 40 percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Americans throw out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, according to the NRDC report. Can high tech change that?

LeanPath is one company that’s passionate about food waste. Making the most of their cloud-based analytics platform, they’ve helped their customers reduce food waste by as much as 80 percent. Before throwing away any pre-consumer food waste, including overproduction, expired items, and food trimmings, restaurants are able to “catalog” it, analyze it, and then use that data to gain insights into making future food purchases and running the business more efficiently.

High tech and food go together like two peas in a pod. And that involves a lot of data in one form or another. So, be sure that whatever you’re doing with your data that you’re also backing it up and protecting it—and that it’s fully and quickly recoverable. And that’s more than just food for thought.

Tell us how high tech has influenced what you eat. And let us know if you are one of those people who likes peppers on your burger.