Author Archive

Keep Close to Nature’s Heart and Don’t Litter!

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.

It’s always disappointing to come across litter on my weekly Saturday morning hike. Things like beer and soda cans, candy wrappers, energy bar and supplement wrappers, plastic water bottles, fast food wrappers, etc. Sometimes when I see litter I try to put myself in the litterbug’s place by asking myself, “What was he thinking?” Or, “What might have caused her to litter?” Rarely do I come up with a good answer.

Don't Litter 2

I have been a strong advocate of respecting the outdoors since I was young, thanks in large part to my dad. He grew up in San Francisco and as a young man loved hiking in Muir Woods and other nearby areas. Later, after relocating to Southern California, he established a weekly routine by taking my brother and me on long hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. If there was anything he drilled into our heads about the outdoors, it was this: enjoy it, love it, and respect it. By respect he meant leaving wherever you tread just the way you found it—and don’t litter! That also translated to leaving your campsite cleaner than the way you found it.

Fortunately, there are many other individuals and groups who feel the same way. In fact, EMC is one of them. I am grateful that EMC is committed to protecting the planet’s ecosystems and addressing the impact our business has on the environment, with a focus on energy and climate change, material use, and waste reduction. For example:

A few weeks ago on my Saturday hike I came across a pile of litter at the overlook and half-way point. A short distance from the overlook a group (I assume it was a group based on the amount of litter) had built a fire the previous night and had some kind of party. Strewn about were uneaten and half-eaten graham crackers, red licorice, chocolate bars, candy wrappers, and marshmallows. There were also a half-dozen empty plastic liter bottles of soda in and near the fire pit. What would cause people to leave behind so much uneaten or half-eaten food and soda, I wondered. The answer probably had something to do with the empty bottle of 190-proof grain alcohol near the plastic soda bottles.

don't litter 1

I wanted to clean up the area but didn’t have a bag large enough to pack it all out. I picked up what I could, shoved it in my pack, and carried it back to the trail head and eventually to my garbage can at home.

John Muir, the great naturalist for whom Muir Woods was named, was fond of saying “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” I am not so prosaic. Here’s what I say: Please, don’t litter! I am proud to work for a company that is doing its part toward sustainability and minimizing its impact on the environment as it continues to be at the forefront of enabling businesses to protect and analyze their information in the most cost-efficient ways.

Emergency Preparedness for Today’s Businesses

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.

Being prepared for a natural disaster makes good sense no matter where you live. Whether it’s the possibility of an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, mudslide, etc., there is peace of mind in knowing you have quick access to some basics so that you can weather the storm. One way to prepare for an emergency is assembling a 72-hour kit. These are just a few of the items in our kits at home:

  • Light: Flashlights and candles and matches.
  • Food: MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat), peanut butter, and dried fruit. And don’t forget comfort foods like chocolate bars (our preference: bags of semisweet chocolate chips).
  • Water: Bottles and pouches (and water purifier).
  • Cooking: White gas backpacking stove and Sterno canned fuel (and matches in a waterproof container!).
  • Other: Don’t forget other essentials such as toilet paper, First Aid kit, and cash.

It’s impossible to know the exact circumstances of any natural disaster; however, having a kit that includes basic items within easy reach can make all the difference when it comes to personal safety,  and if necessary, evacuating quickly to a secure location.

Emergency preparedness is no less important for today’s businesses. So, how does a business prepare for a natural disaster?

First, let’s consider what needs to be protected. All businesses depend on data. If mission-critical data is destroyed or goes missing, business comes to an abrupt halt. Lost data can lead to costly downtime, lost productivity, and long-term reputational damage. No data, no business. But how do you determine what’s mission-critical? Answering that question is a good way to understand what’s most important. What are the repercussions of losing files such as those that your sales team depends on? What about customer data? Financial data? Roadmaps? Emails? The list goes on and on, but the bottom line is this: your business depends on gigabytes terabytes, and petabytes of data that must be protected. (more…)

Which Cloud is Right for Your Business?

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.

A cloud is not just a cloud. Just look up into the sky on any given day and you’ll notice a wide variety of sizes and unique characteristics that define each type. For example, there is the stratus variety. These clouds are very horizontal and are usually seen at lower altitudes. They often mean rain or snow, depending on the temperature. Cirrus clouds, on the other hand, are high-altitude clouds. They are thin and wispy and conjure up images of castles in the sky. Cumulus clouds are those fluffy, puffy, clouds that look perfect in a deep blue sky. They pile up like giant cotton balls and are common in the early afternoon on warm days. Cumulus clouds complete the perfect sky for a western movie’s panoramic shot.
hybridcloudheckertjanblog

There are other types of clouds that have nothing to do with the weather but are nevertheless just as common. For example, there is the private cloud, the public cloud, and the hybrid cloud. If you’re thinking about modernizing your data protection infrastructure, it’s hard not to consider any of these clouds as being just as important as the ones overhead. Do you know the difference between the clouds that can protect your data?

Public clouds: One of the most common clouds. Public clouds are economical for large and small businesses looking for a third-party to manage applications, data, or both. Mozy by EMC is a good example of a public cloud service. With a public cloud, the servers, storage, network infrastructures, and applications are shared across a broad set of subscribers. Advantages of the public cloud include little to no capital expenditure and speed of deployment. (more…)

Yes Virginia, The Internet of Things and Big Data are Real

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.

The following email recently arrived from one of our readers.

Dear EMC:

Some of my colleagues say there is no Internet of Things. Or big data. Or Santa’s workshop.

Please tell me the truth; are these things real?

—Virginia from IT

The following is our response.

Virginia, your coworkers are misinformed. The Internet of Things is real. Big data is real, too. And Santa’s workshop? Well, more on that later.

Santa Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is a complex network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and remote connectivity. The IoT enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

Think about your favorite electronic toys. Many of them include little devices called sensors. Sensors collect data from the toys you interact and have fun with. The thermostat in your home that you adjust from your smartphone is one of those IoT toys. The IoT is comprised of all of these sensors in all of the gadgets, devices, and machines that we rely on that connect to the Internet. But collecting all of that data is just the beginning.

Once gathered, the data must be leveraged so that people like you can benefit from it—so lots of people can benefit from it. The IoT is the infrastructure that creates an infinite number of opportunities to integrate things with sensors and make our lives better. That’s not just a powerful concept, Virginia, it’s real! (more…)

Why Superman Would Secure His Data in the EMC Data Protection Cloud

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.

“Men weren’t meant to ride with clouds between their knees.” So sang Five for Fighting in the song “Superman (It’s Not Easy).” But Superman is no ordinary man. He does fly with clouds between his knees!

superman

That got me thinking about what Superman would do if he had to protect his data. (And why wouldn’t he? Every business, organization, and person—including superheroes—should be backing up their data to protect it from the Lex Luthors of the world.) The EMC data protection cloud is the most logical place for the Man of Steel’s data. Anything less would be, well, weak. And it wouldn’t meet a superhero’s strict, superhuman standards. But the EMC data protection cloud does. A superhero is all about strength, confidence, being bulletproof, and always making the right choice to protect what’s important. Besides, after logging lots of airtime, Superman is familiar with the cloud. The cloud is logical; it makes good sense.

Let’s take a moment to consider what you need to look for in a protection cloud in order for it to be more powerful than a locomotive.

  • Does your cloud support long-term retention for your data? For superior strength, your protection cloud should enable seamless tiering across all aspects of your organization. And that demands simplified connectivity, integration, and management.
  • Can you send data directly to cloud? You need the option of backing up your primary or secondary data directly to the cloud. That means comprehensive backup for all consumption models, whether in physical or virtual environments. And data must always be securely encrypted during storage and while at rest.
  • What about your SaaS data? Even data from cloud-based workloads needs to be protected. Don’t forget the business-critical data being generated by your SaaS apps including Salesforce, Office 365 and Google Apps; if you’re not protecting it, no one else is.

(more…)

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