Having a backup copy in cloud will always ensure data continuity!

Backups are essential for disaster recovery and to keep the enterprise business continuity planning intact and in-place. So, having backup software or an appliance in your storage environment will always work in your favor, when a storage network goes down and the need arises to keep the data flowing to your clients and customers.

But what will happen, if your data center is hit with a catastrophic disaster like Fire, Flood, earthquake or a tsunami.

No matter, how well you are equipped to deal with these situations; sometimes you cannot escape the wrath of Mother Nature.

Here’s where StoneFly, Inc., offers a solution to deal with these situations. If your business is depending on data and needs data flow all time, you can go for a StoneFly Cloud Backup Connect. It is an easy and affordable way to begin storing your valuable server and workstation backups in the cloud.

StoneFly Cloud Backup Connect empowers organizations to fully utilize their existing backup software or existing backup appliance’s disaster recovery features, enabling organizations large and small to implement offsite backup inexpensively.

Compatible with any existing enterprise backup software or backup appliance you might be already using (Symantec Backup Exec, Acronis, Commvault, Veeam, NovaStor, Unitrends, etc.), StoneFly provides a backup connector to your choice of private, hybrid or public cloud. Implement a quick and simple disaster recovery plan while storing your backups off-site in Microsoft Azure, VMware vCloud, VMware vCloud Air, StoneFly Cloud Business Center, or your remote private or hybrid cloud.

To know more call 510.265.1616 or click on StoneFly Cloud Backup Connect.

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DNF Security offers NVR with cloud storage integration!

DNF Security, a business unit of Dynamic Network Factory is offering video surveillance viewing and storage platform with cloud storage integration facility. This combo NVR series of video storage and video viewing platforms are the foundation of reliable, easy-to-deploy IP Surveillance solutions.

DNF Security Falcon series appliances goes above conventional analog CCTV and traditional DVR systems to deliver unmatched performance, scalability and compatibility.

The falcon series of appliances from DNF Security are enriched with high performance features which include 64-bit dual or quad-core Intel 4th-generation Haswell processors, up to 32GB high-speed video cache (8GB standard), and dual copper gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

These fault-tolerant data storage appliance comes in a convenient, space-saving tower or 4U rackmount chassis with hot-swappable drives and trays. User data will be protected with your choice of RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, or 60 across up to eight hot-swappable disk drives on a high-performance RAID controller.

The highlight is that all Falcon Series NVR and Video Storage appliances support an optional cloud connection for video archiving and remote access needs. Live recordings continue to be stored directly on the Falcon combo NVR series of video storage and video viewing platform, while archived footage can be written to and read from a secure StoneFly Cloud Drive hosted in Microsoft Azure or the StoneFly Cloud Business Center – a private cloud.

By combining a StoneFly Cloud Drive subscription with a Falcon Video Storage Appliance will immediately save on capital and operating expenses, enabling organizations large and small to implement offsite video archival and backup inexpensively.

Moreover, Falcon Combo NVR integration with cloud is highly customizable and so users can use the integration for their cloud based surveillance needs like remote monitoring and such.

To know more call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Security Falcon Combo NVR Series appliances.

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Virtual Servers double the cost of security breach says survey?

Kaspersky lab has released a new report recently which says that a security incident involving virtual server in either public or private cloud will double the recovery cost compared to that of a traditional environment.

In another survey conducted by B2B International, it was discovered that enterprises paid an average of $800,000 to cover a security breach involving virtual servers, compared to $400,000 in traditional environments.

On the other hand, the same survey notified us that SMBs saw costs rise from an average of $26,000 to $60,000 with virtualization.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the three main reasons for this cost difference are:

  1. IT professionals are in a myth that virtual servers are naturally secured than their traditional counterparts and so need no extra security precautions.
  2. Secondly, they believe that if at all a virtual machine catches a virus; they can just delete the virtual machine and create a new one from a template.
  3. Around 62% in the survey believed that risk in virtual environments were significantly lower than in physical environment.

The study also revealed that malware is able to hop from one VM to another, embedding itself in the hypervisor and use other techniques to avoid being cleaned out by re-imaging.

The major risk of virtualization discovered in the study is as follows. There can be a window of vulnerability between the time a virtual machine is spun-up and anti-virus software is updated. This window can get dramatically magnified if all the virtual machines need to be updated at once.

As a result, virtualized environments can require security solutions specifically designed to deal with virtual servers.

But it was revealed in the survey that only 13% of the survey respondents had deployed a security solution specifically designed for virtual environments.

B2B International survey revealed that companies were way ahead with disaster recovery plans, when it comes to their traditional infrastructure, but were literally ill prepared for their virtual environments.

The survey of B2B International revealed that virtualization can prove expensive, complicated and lengthy and is often used for the most mission-critical, high-value processes. So, when the infrastructure goes down, so do the processes.

One of the highlights of B2B survey is that 66 percent said that they lost access to business critical information during an incident involving virtualization, compared to 36 percent in a traditional environment. This is because companies are not as prepared to recover from an incident that involves virtualization. Secondly, these incidents also result in a doubling of costs related to lost business, damage to company reputations, damage to credit ratings, and increased insurance premiums.

So, to address these problems, companies need to recognize that virtualization can require different security solutions than traditional environments, and should be thinking about security and disaster recovery from the very start of the virtualization process.

And if you are confused on how to efficiently transform your IT storage configuration with the help of virtualization, without all these hazards approach Dynamic Network Factory Corporation (DNF Corp).

With the help of its:

Dynamic Network Factory can help you in gaining the benefits of virtualization to the fullest and will assist your organization in gaining the much needed edge in today’s competitive marketplace.

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Contra Costa Water District uses StoneFly Storage Concentrator to improve its storage and disaster recovery needs!

Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) touted as one the largest urban water districts in California, is using StoneFly Storage Concentrator to improve its storage and disaster recovery needs. This is a part of CCWD’s dependence on leading-edge technology to improve overall efficiency and productivity as part of an ongoing goal to maintain operating costs and reduce rates.

The Contra Costa Water District IT team relies on a variety of applications to support its wide-ranging information and data collection requirements. More than 350 end users work on HP desktops and Dell laptops linked to 13 servers from Dell and IBM with Red Hat Linux and Oracle 11g, plus HP Netservers running Windows 2008 and Microsoft Exchange

Earlier, CCWD used to access data from direct attached storage to meet its fluctuating storage demands. But this practice often led to the struggle with interoperability across RAID devices and host systems. Additionally, CCWD’s storage requirements often increased during seasonal construction throughout the district, causing peak volumes in data collection and associated demands for increased, short-term storage. Under its current approach, the district had no way to consolidate and share mass storage across various systems. As a result, the department’s IT team had to find an economical yet state-of-the-art solution for its mounting storage dilemma

At this point, StoneFly’s Storage Concentrator came to the rescue of Contra Costa Water District. Initial testing of the Storage Concentrator was completed in half the projected time, which enabled CCWD to streamline its IP SAN deployment.

Data from five production servers were migrated onto the Storage Concentrator over a week-long cutover. The team transferred 1TB of Windows- and Linux-based data from dedicated drives onto the IP SAN, moving over files from various user groups including digital photo archives, Oracle databases and the district’s email repository.

Earlier, CCWD was unable to reclaim storage or resize volumes when storage surges occurred. The Storage Concentrator purges this problem by giving operating systems, applications and end users access to a reservoir of storage resources or volumes that appears identical in all ways to a locally attached hard drive

The other advantage was that the deployed StoneFly IP SAN was also being used to streamline disk-to-disk backup and restore procedures. Thus, this helped in cutting down much tape for any given workgroup, which has generated sizable savings on tapes alone. Previously, the district averaged $9,200 a year on tapes; now the yearly expense is reduced to almost zero with the IP SAN. In addition, by reducing backup windows and lowering operating costs, the IP SAN enables the district to strengthen its business continuity strategies

Since, then StoneFly Integrated Storage Concentrator is playing a pivotal role in protecting vital data and supporting the water district’s underlying information infrastructure

To know more call 510.265.1616 or click on StoneFly ISC 6GS Class Integrated Storage Concentrator.

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Energy efficiency through Server Virtualization requires careful planning!

Data Center managers, who think server virtualization leads to energy savings, should think twice before going with this conclusion. The fact is virtualization offers more balance between energy efficiency and performance, only when coupled with carefully planning.

Traditionally speaking, a single server may host a number of virtualization clients with loads increasing and decreasing sporadically and this may not really bring in savings in practical, when it comes to energy efficiency.

According to an article in CIO Asia, metrics such as PUE can be misleading in virtualized environments, and efforts to improve PUE at the server level can become excessively complex and counter-productive.

So, it’s better to combine device level optimization with a holistic system-level view, possible by using a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tool.

The CIO Asia article advices the data center managers to use DCIM in four steps to reap in the best in order to attain energy efficiency.

  • First audit the equipment deployed and also keep a track of its performance. Nowadays, all DCIM tools offer an intuitive interface for capturing all data points associated with each asset such as size location, power consumption and cooling needs.
  • Go with a strategy of grouping low-performing servers and the ones which are high performing. For mid to low range servers, the manager must decide on which to virtualize while trying to balance efficiency motives and honoring performance requirements. The challenge will be to define reasonable power capping policy for each category of servers.
  • Now, involve testing possible strategies. Start with the least aggressive policy and verify its results before moving on to more aggressive policies, advises the article.
  • Finally, after all policies have been applied, the data center manager can tune the physical infrastructure, using the DCIM tools.

If things aren’t working and you are in a desperate need of help, then Dynamic Network Factory can come to your rescue. The said company has deep knowledge in cabling and infrastructure, power and cooling, rack layout and design, security and management practices. All of these elements, put together in the right way, can make for long-lasting IT systems and true operational and energy efficiency for your company.

Just give these guys a call and start the conversation for your bright business future.

Call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF contacts page.

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How do San Gateways differ from Storage Servers?

San Gateways are typically appliances are designed to utilize your existing network storage resources to create a universally secure repository for your critical data. These San Gateways are ideal for companies that want to leverage existing storage resources, but need to increase their level of privacy and security to meet data compliance standards.

But a storage server includes integrated RAID Storage, where the user can select either internal or external storage arrays in a wide range of capacities. These appliances are ideal for companies that do not have a SAN or cannot afford to expand their current SAN storage capabilities.

Benefits of using San Gateway:

  • As said earlier, SAN Gateways allow users to assign or provision all or part of their existing storage through their existing or preferred available interfaces like iSCSI, FC or SAS.
  • The new volumes will be a part of the SAN gateway and can be encrypted, mirrored, replicated, data deduplicated, thin provisioned, etc.
  • The user can extend and growth storage on demand after few minutes of installation.

StoneFly, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory offers StoneFly Unified Storage Concentrator (USC) SAN Gateway Appliances to allow businesses to convert their existing Fibre Channel, SAS, or iSCSI Storage into their choice of Unified iSCSI, FN SAN or NAS Storage. The parent storage can be of any company like EMC, Netapp, Dell etc….

Once the storage volumes have been provisioned by the USC appliance, they can enjoy StoneFly’s numerous advanced data storage management features.

Built-in features of the StoneFly USC SAN Gateway include StoneFly iSCSI, delta-based snapshots with mountable read-write snapshot volumes, real-time synchronous campus mirroring of iSCSI volumes and nodes, thin provisioning with space reclamation, iSCSI port teaming with failover and load-balancing, as well as advanced storage virtualization services.

Optional features available for the StoneFly USC SAN Gateway include Fibre Channel SAN target, hardware-enabled block level AES256 volume encryption, asynchronous replication, NAS volume support for CIFS/SMB and NFS protocols, VSS support for quiescing databases, and optimized data deduplication for increased storage efficiency. StoneFly’s data deduplication capability allows users to fit 5x to 137x more data within the same storage footprint without reducing overall performance.

Highlight – If you have an expensive SAN storage in which large capacity remains under utilized, then StoneFly SAN Gateway can help in fully utilizing that unused storage capacity to obtain complete hardware utilization and considerable reduction in power/cooling costs, as it cuts down the need for buying another storage appliance for your future storage needs.

The company also offers StoneFly USC High Available SAN Gateway, StoneFly UES Highly Available Encryption Gateway and StoneFly UDS Highly available Deduplication Gateway.

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Dynamic Network Factory emphasizes on importance of data security!

Data Security of your company and your customers is vital to any business success. Especially in this technology driven world, identification of data thefts becomes highly essential, irrespective of the size of the business. But unfortunately most small companies are ill-prepared and equipped to handle the heavy weight of the responsibility they have for this data.

Thanks to the electronic media, companies nowadays are learning to know how important it is to secure their data storage. But most companies, due to reasons best known to them, still lack a good storage plan or resources in place.

In terms of basic sense, securing data means understand which pieces of info need protection and enacting proper procedures and safeguards to keep that data safe. If you ignore data security in your enterprise environment, then you are simply putting your company reputation at stake. And remember rebounding can be costly and the threats are only increasing.

For instance, in December 2013, a large retailer ‘Target’ experienced the second largest data breach in history. And now, despite offerings to try and earn backup customer trust, traffic at Target stores is still less than normal.

What’s more agonizing to the said company is that individuals and banks are pursuing the retailer for losses related to the security breach. The final payouts may reach astounding amounts, but the retailer will likely recover with the help of big financial and marketing experts.

Small businesses typically have smaller budgets and less support to recover from damages related to a data breach.

In the old days i.e. prior to 2000, data security was a lot simpler because there were only a few access points that data criminals could penetrate. The emergence of the Internet, mobile devices in the workplaces, and cloud computing services have afforded data criminals with an increased arsenal of attacks.

The most common threats today include the interception of data, unauthorized access to data that is stored on hardware or flowing within networks, and theft of hardware or media.

So, what could be done now?

There are some precautionary measures which could lessen your risk of a data breach and they are:

  • Act now – It is a foolish approach to wait until a data security breach occurs in order to develop a data security plan. Going with a proactive approach makes complete sense, and shows others concerned that you have made an attempt to secure data that your enterprise manages.
  • Determine what level of data security is appropriate for your business – Honestly speaking; there is no one-size fits all approach in data security. A better strategy is to determine the best data security model for your business, and work towards a building the best possible defense.
  • Training program is essential – Here’s the point to notify is that the responsibility of data security falls on the shoulders of many, not just the owners, IT team or the head of the organization. Therefore, creating a culture of data security in your organizations is high essential. Employees need to realize the importance of the threats and so must do their part in preventing or avoiding them. Here, compliance will be an obligation.

If you have no idea on how to deal with data security then Dynamic Network Factory can work with your IT teams to evaluate the existing encryption strategy and policies. This process will start with getting detailed asset information on your enterprise hardware and software environment, sensitive data, and current security policy management sets. In combination with your corporate objectives, DNF Corp team will determine the business objectives for encrypting data-at-rest.

From the derived objectives, DNF will derive a plan and proposal to address the policies, architecture, and scope of the project to keep you enterprise protected to the fullest.

For more details call 510.265.1616 or click on DNF Data Security.

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High definition cameras usage increasing in Casinos!

Video surveillance in casinos represents one of the most technically demanding necessities for security surveillance systems providers. This is due to the fact that these environments have diverse operational requirements and equally diverse operating conditions which pose as challenges to security cameras.

Technically speaking, gaming surveillance is focused on the activities that take place on the gaming tables and is used to settle disputes, prevent and detect cheating and also to protect the players and the Casino from dishonest employees.

Since, such systems require the ability to cope with high speeds on dice tables, and roulette wheels, low ambient lighting levels, difficult color contracts such as greens, red, blacks on card tales and other deep field requirements; they need to produce images with evidential level quality. Thus, the presence of such quality filled images not only helps the casino’s image, but also allows the casino to make sure that the correct customer is paid the correct number of chips for their win.

High definition security cameras provide six times the resolution of analog cameras, supplying images with sharper edges that easily identifies faces, cards, dice, chips, currency and fill slips.

Additionally HD cameras can also help in reducing total camera count in the premises. A single, 1080p camera can effectively cover poker, roulette or craps tables where traditionally 4-5 analog cameras are required.

If budget is an issue, then combining high definition cameras at choke points with 360 degree cams can provide extreme overviews of the entire casino floor. This ensures facial identification of a person at choke point, when an incident occurs.

Benefits of using HD cameras in Casinos:

  • One of the advantages of using high definition cameras in casinos is that it offers improved picture quality and greater sensitivity in low lighting.
  • It offers greater frame rate for post recording analysis by Casino owner.
  • Due to wider field of view, camera count can be reduced.
  • High quality of audio capture is possible.
  • Remote or mobile viewing is possible, if the surveillance cameras are integrated to an efficient video management system.
  • Simpler control room operations for locating and playback of video is possible with HD cameras.
  • HD cameras provide automatic recognition of premier customers or people on security watch lists.

If you need assistance in selecting the right cameras for your casino then you can approach DNF Security. It not only provides management and storage solutions for mission critical surveillance environments, but can also offer you assistance in camera section, camera count, deployment, installation and maintenance prerequisites.

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How to minimize unplanned data center outages?

Unplanned data center outages can cost $9,750 per minute to the server facilities and this was revealed in the latest survey conducted by Ponemon Institute. Thus, it can be confirmed that downtime is getting more expensive as data centers are becoming more valuable to their operators.

Most often unplanned data center outages are caused due to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and Tsunami’s. Sometimes, hardware or software errors, which can be man made, also cause such troubles, which can make some server farms get into huge losses and sometimes get into irreparable mode. In fact, International Data Corporation research shows that two out of five enterprises that experience a disaster go out of business within five years.

Therefore, with critical data at risk daily, businesses have to be more concerned with developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Here, an efficient insurance policy against disaster disruption is the implementation of a business continuity plan.

Dynamic Network Factory Corporation can help your data center access top quality expertise to duck your server farm from any kind of natural or man made disasters. Well, frankly speaking, it cannot dictate nature. But can help you out in designing an infrastructural architecture which minimizes and manages risk better with dashboard and expert updates.

StoneFly, a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory, will help you out in your data center infrastructure planning with its products such as StoneFly Cloud Business Center, San Based Replication, Disk to disk backups and StoneFly DR365 Disaster Recovery site in a box solution series.

Whether your data center is small or big, serving one company or acting as a COLO, DNF Corp propelled StoneFly Disaster Recovery solution will ensure 100% data continuity for your business, no matter how big it is and how many branches it holds.

Call 510.265.1616 or contact StoneFly Sales to learn more.

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Denton Central Appraisal District hosts tax data on StoneFly IP SAN!

Denton Central Appraisal District (DCAD) which is some 30 minutes north of Dallas extends several hundred miles and contains approximately 300,000 acres comprising residential and commercial properties. Each year, the district prepares and disseminates an annual appraisal roll, and then gives property owners three months to protest before final tax assessments are levied.

During this time, information processing demands typically quadruple and storage requirements skyrocket. In addition, DCAD’s heavy reliance on database technology and increasing use of imaging put additional strain on the storage foundation.

Moreover, the foundation was also looking for a major database migration from an older UNIX platform to Microsoft SQL server in order to appraise their core software and geographical information systems.

In the last year alone, DCAD’s storage grew by 300 percent as new home development and other growth countywide caused significant increases in imaged documents including photos and maps.

Their IT team forecasted long-range requirements based on current and anticipated storage growth and came to a conclusion that a storage area network (SAN) provided a critical piece of DCAD’s upgraded technology foundation.

After a review done on the current storage vendors in the market, Denton Central Appraisal District’s IT team zeroed on StoneFly IP SAN. It asked for a company representative’s presentation on the capabilities of StoneFly IP SAN. In less than 30 minutes, the representative set up a basic IP SAN with one server and one disk array to show the ease with which the system handles block-level file storage.

The interface was so intuitive and the system was extremely easy to use and the IT team of DCAD was impressed with the simplicity of “carving out” volumes.

Now, DCAD’s StoneFly IP SAN enables the IT team to meet fluctuating storage requirements easily and economically. It is also using the IP SAN as a backup and disaster recovery service for around 15 servers enticed with virtualization software.

Thus, Denton Central Appraisal District is now well positioned to tackle the annual processing rush when the appraisal rolls are made public.

To know more details about StoneFly IP SAN call 510.265.1122 or click on StoneFly IP SAN.

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