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Archives for: February 27, 2021

Beyond Robust: Resilient IT (Part 2)

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first_imgIn my first post on Resilient IT, I focused on why IT needs to inject random failures into its systems to make them stronger. Now, I would like to discuss how you should actually start doing it.Modern IT systems are constantly changing and these changes introduce a risk that isn’t always obvious or visible to the person implementing them. Many management frameworks try to cope with change by introducing maturity models however, maturity by itself is not enough.So what do you do? I suggest that the IT organization stops assuming that a system once tested and deployed is considered a robust system. Our mission as IT leaders is to continuously evolve these systems beyond robustness and into systems that benefit from failures and harm. This principle will allow IT to stay flexible and agile while at the same time remain safe and available. For IT to deliver against the promise of agility in combination with resiliency we have to advance ongoing IT system management to think of IT as an organic and continuously evolving process. Our testing and validation practices should not just be used prior to deployment but those very principles must also evolve into running operational processes and environments. We need to exert pressure on the system while it is changing in real-time to deliberately expose holes, fragility and unexpected behavior.Introducing the same errors and stress into the system won’t be enough to make IT better. We also need to evolve our thinking about how failures occur. By introducing random events, big and small, we can test the interdependencies of systems and the people who operate them and move beyond scripted top-down fail-over tests.I fully believe that our success in building agile and flexible IT system resilience will depend on how well we manage the deliberate introduction of stress into IT by injecting errors in unexpected places and with some degree of randomness to it. This allows IT to fully uncover unexpected and hidden dependencies in people, systems, processes and communication paths.  Some leading companies are already doing this by promoting their top operations engineers to form functions that are chartered with making the system benefit from failure. These teams are authorized to deliberately cause failures by injecting faults with some degree of randomness to observe impact and resiliency with the objective to improve the system if it behaves in unexpected ways.  These companies choose do this against running systems, processes, communication paths and people to truly ensure that their companies benefit by learning from ongoing stress to expose fragility.  These types of tests are always challenging but ultimately help build a culture of continuous self-improved resiliency and reliability.As our IT systems are getting ever more interconnected and complex we often tend to think of them as always working and they almost always do. But when they do not work the consequences are immediate, direct and increasingly affecting society.  The best way to ensure that we don’t build IT systems that degenerate from robustness into fragility is to assume that they are fragile in the first place and introduce deliberate stress against them. Many of the largest and well-known companies are already doing this type of stress test and given the role of IT in the modern company I think any CIO should consider introducing some of these principles.  For those who are considering going through and implementing these philosophies, there are a few additional points to consider. First off, use your senior operational staff to stress the system and message that a failure is success –after all, failures uncovered are no longer hidden and once the system is adjusted to cope with those failures ultimately makes the system better.Secondly, introduce a thought process of randomness. Test what happens to systems, people and processes when a key network component fails and a phone switch is out in combination with simulation of flooding at the DR site. Perhaps test the effects of how staff can cope witha SAN core array failure during a denial of service attack? How well does the system cope with that while building or room access to the company or data center is down?This exercise will be extremely painful the first few times it is executed, just as it hurts and aches in muscles when they are untrained and are tasked with lifting heavy weights. The good news is that this is temporary; once this process becomes routine, IT systems will benefit and evolve and IT staff and their processes will become more resilient to fragility and hidden risk because of it.last_img read more

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Propel software-defined network innovation with Open Networking

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first_img“The Path Is Open to Software-Defined Networking” provides more details about the customers’ solutions — including why they engaged Dell over the competition, what Open Networking technologies they’re using, and their business outcomes. Check out the eBook today.How are you using Dell Open Networking solutions to help make your business future ready? Or do you have any plans for implementing these technologies? As a product marketing manager who works on these solutions, I welcome your feedback and questions. Over the past few years, there has been much discussion about disaggregating networks in order to give organizations more choice in building the foundations needed for future-ready infrastructures. Traditional networks are struggling to support increases in traffic, devices and security risks. Upgrading networks to meet these challenges is difficult because traditional networks operate as technology silos that require proprietary hardware and software as well as rigid processes and specialized skill sets for systems administrators   In order to meet today’s rapidly evolving business challenges, organizations need more choice and control over their network infrastructure.The age of network innovation through disaggregation has arrived. This disaggregated networking model allows organizations to choose among various industry-standard networking switches, network applications and network operating systems to meet their specific business needs. The disaggregated networking model provides consistent computing and networking with a common deployment and operation model. Through this open networking approach, customers can realize lower operation and capital expenditures while simultaneously breaking free from vendor lock-in.By disaggregating the network customers can benefit from a more flexible platform that IT professionals control at every level. Organizations that want to implement a future-ready infrastructure should look closely at Dell, a leader in open systems.  IT departments can now run Linux on Dell switches and servers. Customers can also adopt software-defined networking (SDN) solutions with Dell technologies, And regardless of the requirements and the size of an organization, Dell provides innovative solutions and support services. Dell offers the largest set of Open Networking solutions available today with application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).Check out how leading edge IT departments are already using Dell Open Networking solutions to get results. Take a look at the new eBook called “The Path Is Open to Software-Defined Networking.” It shows how four different organizations are:Protecting investments with a highly flexible and scalable network that minimizes the need to replace hardware.Accelerating innovation velocity to create new services and automated processes quicker by simplifying network management.Increasing business agility to drive growth with a network that supports, rather than restricts, their vision.1)      By implementing SDN with a Dell Open Networking solution, Cornell UniversityIncreases researchers’ efficiency by 200% with accelerated data analysis and support for more concurrent workloads.Meets diverse user requirements with one network, including the need for different SDN controllers.Saves money by halving its network footprint, boosting the utilization of individual switches and automating tasks.2)     By deploying a software-defined data center that includes a Dell Open Networking solution, cloud services provider U2 Cloud:Improves customer experience by running workloads 300% faster and servicing change requests in minutes rather than weeks.Boosts ROI by supporting more than one virtual switch on a physical switch.3)     By replacing its traditional network with a Dell Open Networking solution, cloud service provider ICM Netsystems:Facilitates a 35% growth rate in business volume by accelerating client onboarding.Speeds network performance by 45% and IT staff efficiency by 20%.Fuels innovation by increasing network flexibility and simplifying development.4)     By deploying a private cloud that uses a Dell Open Networking solution, open-source developer Midokura:Increases efficiency by managing the network and servers with the same Linux commands.Improves user experience by enabling engineers to reconfigure virtual network resources to support changing demand.last_img read more

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1,000 IT Practitioners Answer: Where Are We With IT Transformation?

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first_imgWhen compared against Legacy, Transformed organizations are seven times as likely to have IT viewed by the business as a competitive differentiator and profit center. In addition, Transformed organizations are six times as likely to report progress in leveraging IT resources to speed product innovation and time to market. Evolving or Transformed IT organizations are more agile and responsive in several critical areas: Infrastructure provisioning, on-time and on-budget project delivery, and on-time application development. For example, Transformed organizations complete three times as many IT projects ahead of schedule vs. Legacy. IT Transformation is strongly correlated with improved business results. Ninety-six percent of Transformed organizations exceeded revenue targets in FY2016, more than twice the rate of Legacy organizations. By now it’s no surprise that most every business must become a digital business – a sentiment reflected in the Digital Transformation Index we released last year. It’s long been my view that in leading businesses, IT will move from supporting the business to becoming the business – which means there is no digital transformation without an underlying IT Transformation. This begs the question: where do IT shops around the world stand in making progress on this front?The ESG 2017 IT Transformation Maturity Curve Study commissioned by Dell EMC answers this question and more. What does the study of 1,000 IT practitioners tell us? Let me just highlight some of the most salient results here:Across all surveyed companies, four stages of IT maturity were uncovered: Legacy (the least mature), Emerging, Evolving, and Transformed (the most mature). The level of a company’s IT maturity influences their ability to innovate and contribute to the business’s bottom line. Organizations that have achieved greater IT Transformation maturity spend a significantly higher share of budget on innovation: For example, Transformed organizations allocate an incremental 12 percent of their annual IT spend to new projects and initiatives compared to Legacy organizations.I’d encourage you to review the full report to get a sense for all of the findings. If you want to know where your organization sits on the curve, take the benchmarking survey and find out. If you find yourself at an early stage of maturity, recognize that IT Transformation can be accelerated by breaking it down into practical steps – something we’re committed to helping our customers with, and something we’ll be highlighting at Dell EMC World in May.last_img read more

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The Power of Precision Medicine, Personalized Care & a Brave Kid: Jens’s Story

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first_imgJens Hildreth is a fun-loving 8-year-old. He smiles a lot. He is on the move – a lot.  And he asks questions – a lot! Sam, when is the kid’s library open? Hey Bill, when is your partner coming to the security desk? Jens seems to know everyone at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (HDVCH) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.Jens and his dad, Dean Hildreth, visit with the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital staff. Jens enjoys meeting new and old friends during his trips.Jens is here often. In the past year, he and his parents have made the six-hour flight from their home in Alaska over 10 times so Jens may receive care for his neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer without a cure. At age 4, Jens was diagnosed after doctors found an orange-size tumor wrapped around his kidney. Jens has been through a lot since the difficult surgery to remove the tumor.Right now, Jens is feeling pretty good. He takes medication daily to bolster his immune system and he receives chemotherapy once a month near his home. Remarkably, all of his current treatment is designed specifically for his tumor and his genes – and this means less harsh side effects and a kid who feels well enough to jump all around the hospital to see his friends.Jens receives treatment as part of his involvement in the world’s first precision medicine clinical trial for pediatric cancer run within the Dell Precision Medicine Program, run by the Beat Childhood Cancer Consortium at HDVCH and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Jens’s recent bone marrow aspiration test showed cancer cell detection at zero – and that’s a big deal. How did Jens get to this point?Jens plays outside of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. His stuffed monkey, Ivy, is his well-loved travel buddy.Dr. Giselle Sholler, Jens’s doctor in Michigan, asks you to envision a computer monitor with numerous images of DNA and RNA strands, showing the genetic codes causing cancerous tumors to grow. Doctors can then learn how to break these codes by using drugs.This information is made possible after a process called “genomic sequencing,” where a piece of a child’s tumor is studied using very specialized computing technology that can analyze more than 200 billion data points.Dr. Sholler is the director of the Haworth Innovative Therapeutics Clinic at HDVCH. She’s also the director of the pediatric oncology research program there, and the chair of the Beat Childhood Cancer Consortium.Jens’s tumor was analyzed by the TGen bioinformatics team in Phoenix, Arizona. Here, the team uses Dell’s high-performance computing solution to analyze patients’ tumors as part of TGen’s partnership with Dr. Sholler and the Beat Childhood Cancer consortium.While this analysis at TGen is happening, a piece of the tumor is also at the hospital lab, where Dr. Sholler and her team use it to grow more cells in culture, in order to test which drugs the tumor cells respond to.Once this process is complete, a broad team of experts from all over the world convene and talk about the patient’s information – all digitally stored in the KIDS Cloud, a cloud-based Dell solution that enables medical professionals from TGen and all the Beat Childhood Cancer clinical trial sites to collaboratively review information and create treatment plans.“We discuss the patient’s case, the genomics, what DNA mutations do we see… what drugs might target those. Together we come up with a personalized treatment plan,” Dr. Sholler says.Since Dell began its partnership with TGen in 2011, over 150 critically ill patients have received precision medicine-based treatment based on genomic sequencing. Dell provides funding, technology and expertise that enable researchers and doctors to accelerate and improve treatment plans. Recently published trial results show that the precision medicine approach stabilized or reduced tumors in 64 percent of children with neuroblastoma.Mapping one human genomeAccording to Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen’s president and research director, if one were to type 60 words a minute, eight hours a day, it would take 50 years to record one human genome, creating a stack of paper as high as the Statue of Liberty — and a single misspelling could cause a disease. Dr. Trent credits TGen, Dell and EMC for forming an IT infrastructure that now allows scientists and clinicians to receive this critical information faster than ever thought possible.Neuroblastoma is an aggressive cancer. Many children relapse. So when doctors discovered Jens’s tumor had returned in 2016, precision medicine was vital to garnering better insights for more effective treatment – that could be prescribed faster.Dell’s funding and technology helped TGen reduce the time it takes to do a whole genome sequencing analysis from multiple weeks to eight hours.Jens’s mom, Joelene Kacena, recalls how this time-saving technology provided hope to her family at a very critical stage.“When doctors are trying to figure out what to do next, you think of the cancer every minute, every hour,” she says. “The anxious part of me was saying, Hey, my kid’s cancer is multiplying and growing as we speak. So when we learned about the precision medicine approach, I was totally wowed.”For Kacena, her son’s experience with precision medicine has meant many positive things. A happier, healthier Jens. The ability to work again at her job in the local library. More laughs shared by all three of her sons, playing together.“He’s better and we’re so, so happy for that,” Kacena says. “I want more families and children to know about this approach and to benefit. I hope this flourishes and flourishes and becomes a natural protocol.”Jens with his mom, Joelene, and dad, Dean. Jens enjoys basketball, computer games, and learning new things.As part of our work with TGen, we learn about remarkable young patients, and their families with extraordinary courage. Meet more of these special people here.Explore more on delltechnologies.com:CUSTOMER STORY: Speed is imperative in the fight against rare diseases. For Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and its Center for Rare Childhood Disorders, the Phoenix-based research and treatment center, shortening the “diagnostic odyssey” is only the beginning.TRAILBLAZERS PODCAST: From X-Rays to wearables, better healthcare means peering deeper into the human body. Join Walter and guests Dr. Daniel Kraft, Reenita Das, Dr. Jeffrey Trent, Anne Wojcicki and Dr. Giselle Sholler as they explore how wellness is becoming more personal, and more proactive.This article shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.  We call this our Legacy of Good.Explore our FY17 Annual update on our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan at legacyodgood.dell.com.[UPDATE 8/15/2018]On Thursday, August 9, 2018, Jens died at age eight at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This little warrior from Nome, Alaska, touched so many lives wherever he went. His positive energy was appreciated by anyone he met, including those at DeVos Children’s Hospital and Spectrum Butterworth while he received cancer treatments for his Neuroblastoma. In 2017, while receiving treatment in Grand Rapids, some of us from Dell were able to see first-hand how Jens brought smiles and laughter to strangers, friends, security guards, the hospital librarian – everyone in his path. Jens – and his parents Joelene and Dean – fought his cancer so bravely for over four years. He will be deeply missed.last_img read more

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Former Kosovo PM excluded from running in Feb. 14 election

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first_imgPRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Election authorities in Kosovo have excluded a former prime minister from running in the country’s early parliamentary election next month due to his sentencing for a crime in the last three years. The Central Election Commission and the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel said Tuesday that the conviction made former Prime Minister Albin Kurti ineligible as a candidate under Kosovo law. The commission and panel also ruled against other potential candidates who received criminal sentences within the last three years. Kurti and other lawmakers from his party were sentenced in 2018 for using tear gas and other violent acts to disrupt parliamentary votes. The party says it plans to appeal the election decision.last_img

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Prosecutor hands off case against Atlanta officers in death

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first_imgATLANTA (AP) — The new prosecutor in Georgia’s most populous county is removing her office from the prosecution of the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last summer in Atlanta. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis cited concerns about her predecessor’s actions. She sent a letter dated Monday to state Attorney General Chris Carr asking that the cases against the two officers in the Brooks shooting and six officers in another high-profile use-of-force case be handled by another prosecutor.last_img

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‘I have to go’: Fans who’ve been to every Super Bowl book in

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first_imgPORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Super Bowl is going to look different this year for three friends who’ve attended every installment of the big game. But Don Crisman, Tom Henschel and Gregory Eaton will still be there, as they have every year since the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game in 1967. The trio are among an ever-shrinking handful of fans who have witnessed every Super Bowl in person. They won’t be able to sit next to each other this year, and they’re working coronavirus precautions into the trip. Attendance at the 2021 Super Bowl has been capped at 22,000, which includes 7,500 health care workers. The stadium will be about a third full.last_img

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