The Perfect Holiday Cookie

Meredith Soper

As a former college athlete who never lost her competitive edge, I continuously challenge myself to learn new things and become an expert on others. However, my focus is no longer basketball, but the world of data protection. My MBA and innate passion for technology led me to a career in product marketing at Dell EMC, where I aspire to add some pizazz to the already-exciting world of backup and recovery. Outside of the office, I’m a born and raised Bostonian who has trouble pronouncing her R’s (think “pahk the cah”). I love sports, shopping, and a good glass of red wine. Follow me on Twitter @Meredith_Soper and I promise to #followback!

What makes the perfect holiday cookie? Is it the combination of ingredients, or the manner in which they are mixed and baked? A recipe incorporates both of these things- yet data-protection-solution-holiday-cookies
the success of one without the other is never enough. Even with the main ingredients- flour, sugar, eggs-, a forgotten touch of salt or dash of vanilla leads to tasteless dough. And even if the dough is mixed to perfection, a misread oven temperature can ruin the entire baking process. (By now, you may have guessed that I am speaking from experience. I can’t be the only one who’s committed a baking blunder!) The result of these common mistakes is an imperfect holiday cookie.  Although this may not ruin your Christmas party, it surely isn’t ideal.

Fortunately for you, I won’t be baking any cookies this holiday season. However, I am thinking of mixing it up from a data protection perspective. When I think of the perfect data protection solution, I consider it a combination of both software and hardware products. Not only should data be backed up with the utmost speed, performance, and efficiency, but it should also be securely stored on protection storage you can trust. But like the ingredients of the cookie, there cannot be one without the other. In order to benefit from a complete data protection solution, the greatness of the backup application must be matched by the greatness of the protection storage device, and vice versa. And like the baking process, the data protection products must be handled with care, serviced appropriately, and backed by a company you can rely on. (more…)

Ransomware Hits Light-rail System, Resulting in Lost Revenue

Brian Heckert

Principal Content Editor, Dell EMC
My first long-term exposure to technology was the typewriter. I still love that invention, which really sparked my interest in writing. For the past 20 years, I have worked in high tech as a content development specialist, marketing writer, and documentation editor. Prior to working in the software industry, I was a journalist, photographer, photo editor, and military fire fighter. After hours, I enjoy spending time with family, reading, and hiking in the mountains.

Ransomware really gets around, faster than even the best form of mass transportation can move busy commuters to work.

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Recently, ransomware caused the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) light-rail system to lose revenue when the organization shut down ticket machines and fare gates as a precaution to the malware attack. According to the SFMTA site, ransomware infected mainly 900 office computers. However, another source claimed that more than 2,000 computers were infected, including office admin desktops, CAD workstations, email and print servers, employee laptops, payroll systems, SQL databases, lost and found property terminals and station kiosk PCs.

The ransomware scrambled the data on infected hard drives, posted a message on corresponding computers (“You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted, Contact For Key (cryptom27@yandex.com) ID:601.”), then demanded a 100 Bitcoin ransom (approximately US$75,000) before the cybercriminals would agree to hand over a master decryption key that would allow the SFMTA to decipher the data ransomed on the infected hard drives.

Ransomware is a threat to businesses that already costs millions of dollars each year, and unfortunately is prevalent and grows more sophisticated. There are literally millions of new malware variants each year. In 2015 there were 431 million variants added, according to the Internet Security Threat Report.

Using a variety of attacks, criminals can inject malware into your network, which then holds your data or other systems hostage until you pay a ransom. Ransomware gains access to a computer system through a network’s weakest link, which is typically a user’s email or social networking site. Once a user clicks on a malicious link or opens an infected attachment, the malware spreads quickly throughout the system.

When a file or other data is held for ransom, the affected organization must meet the financial demands of the cybercriminal in exchange for a decryption key to “unlock” the ransomed data. If you don’t pay the ransom, you forfeit access to your computer and the data that’s on it. You also forfeit access for others to shared documents and data, compounding the impact exponentially. You might think that’s the worst case. Not so. (more…)

Experiences that Meet Expectations

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

I recently found myself standing at one end of a large field.  People were everywhere and it was extremely loud.  It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit and raining.  I think I even saw a few snowflakes mixed in.  I stood there soaked and shaking, but didn’t mind.  I was cold and wet on the outside, but was glowing with pride on the inside.

Besides, I had experienced this before (dozens of times….) and knew what to expect.

Then I saw them – the lead group of runners of varsity girls cross country crested a rise toward the end of the first loop of their 5k race, which is the first time we had seen them in nearly five minutes.  Between the starting gun and then, every teammate and family member hoped their friend or child was running strong and not injured as they’d just run through narrow wooded trails littered with tree roots, loose stones and mud.

My daughter, who was first off the starting line on this particular day, had fallen back to 4th place.  I wasn’t worried though.  Her strategy was to remain in the front group for the majority of the race and sprint the final 200 yards to the finish.  She’s consistent and predictable, at least as much as any teen can be.  At least that’s been my experience, and her, and her coach’s, expectation.

After all, it’s about making sure the experience meets the expectation.

In June 2016 I wrote a blog titled “That Familiar Enterprise Experience in the Cloud”, which discussed how Dell EMC NetWorker protects cloud-resident workloads as an enterprise backup solution.  The most important take-away in that article was that NetWorker protects applications and data in the public cloud with THE SAME USER EXPERIENCE as when using NetWorker to back up on-premises workloads.  (more…)

Feeling Thankful for that Backup

John Dentinger

Product Marketing Manager, Core Technologies Division
John’s passion for creating compelling content and communicating the benefits of great products have aligned as he explores the world of protection storage. Interning in Product Marketing with EMC while pursuing his MBA exposed John to the world of technology and the astounding power of Dell EMC’s data protection offerings. Outside of work, John likes to ski, enjoys gaming & media, and collects vinyl records. John is a graduate of the MBA program at the Boston College Carroll School of Management, where he specialized in Product & Brand Management and Marketing Analytics.

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, American businesses close down for the day as families gather around warm food on a big table. That means that many data centers were short-staffed over this past week, as IT employees around the country took part in our annual tradition of coming together to give thanks. But business in the data center must go on despite holidays, and those who work in IT know that any day off can be ruined when failures occur or disaster strikes.

When most go around the Thanksgiving dinner table and share what they are thankful for, stable health, friends, family and recent good fortunes are generally what comes to mind. But for those concerned about the loss of their organization’s mission critical data, this might have been the year that you declared to your family that you were “feeling thankful for that backup that saved me!”

thanksgiving-2

That is right – intermixed with the stories that focused on golf scores that were lowered or new friendships that were made, there are definitely families out there who had members share tales about how having a trustworthy and complete data protection solution saved them this year.

Let me give you three scenarios where one would be thankful this time of year for backup. Take, for starters, a small business owner who deployed software-defined protection storage across multiple branch locations over this past year as their business grew. When an environmental catastrophe caused the destruction of one of these off-site locations, this individual was thankful that the location’s critical backup had been replicated to his central data center. This business owner was relieved that he had sought out a full protection strategy, of which disaster recovery is a vital component. (more…)

Oh, There’s No Place Like Las Vegas for the Holidays

Dave Robinson

Sr. Director Product Marketing, Dell EMC
Dave is a 10-year EMC veteran, responsible for the marketing behind Dell EMC’s portfolio of data protection cloud products and technologies. A California native and graduate of the University of Utah, Dave started his career in advertising, building integrated marketing campaigns for a large healthcare client. The allure of technology was too hard to resist so he took the leap and never looked back. Outside of work, he may be found in the mountains, on a lake, reading a great history book, or coaching youth baseball. Dave is married with 4 children.

Latest posts by Dave Robinson (see all)

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As the last few leaves drop from the trees and warm sunny afternoons give way to cold winter nights, it can mean only one thing… the holidays are near. Like many of you, I am a firm believer that late November through early January is indeed “the most wonderful time of the year,” as Andy Williams first crooned back in 1963. It’s a time for binge eating, reconnecting with friends and family and in the case of the Robinson family, movie marathons! One of my most cherished traditions the past few years has been introducing my kids to the holiday classics that I grew up on; “A Christmas Story,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Elf,” and “Home Alone” to name a few.

 

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Image provided by Google images

In “Home Alone,” the McCallister family vacation takes a turn for the worse when eight-year-old Kevin is left behind as a result of an overnight storm and ensuing power outage. <Spoiler Alert!> As a result of his cleverness, a few household items, and a newfound friend, Kevin is ultimately able to protect his home against a pair of bungling intruders.

For enterprise IT, unwanted intruders, bungling or sophisticated, are no laughing matter. At Dell EMC, we’re committed to protecting all of our customer’s data against unwelcome intruders, power outages, ransomware and more. Physical or virtual. Data center or public cloud. North Carolina or North Pole. No data is out of reach for Dell EMC data protection solutions.

To that end, Dell EMC is a bronze sponsor of the AWS re:Invent 2016 conference, which kicks off today at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. With the sweet scent of Starbucks Pumpkin Chai lattes drifting through the air, the more than 20,000 attendees can network with cloud experts, engage in hands-on labs, attend boot camps and more. Come visit Dell EMC at booth #947 in the Expo Hall to talk to the experts about data protection solutions from Data Domain and NetWorker with CloudBoost for the AWS platform.

Data Domain Cloud Tier allows you to natively tier data to Amazon S3 object storage for long-term retention. As you would expect from Data Domain, only unique data is sent directly to AWS for a highly efficient and cost-effective long-term retention solution. We’ll also be offering demos of NetWorker with CloudBoost for protecting enterprise applications running on Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). NetWorker with CloudBoost runs completely self-contained within the AWS EC2 environment and includes client-side optimized backups, inline de-duplication, encryption and compression with backup directly to Amazon S3. (more…)

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