Public Safety: A Fly in the Ointment of your Disaster Recovery Plan


When crafting Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans (BCP, DRP), the roles and capabilities of local Public Safety organizations (Police, Fire Department, Ambulance, et. al.) play an important role. In working with a Client on their DR plan, and following the post mortem of the recent disruption of The Planet’s data center in Houston, TX, I’ve found some interesting food for thought related to the roles of Public Safety in DR planning.

Multiple Skins: Still a Problem for Social Networking Sites

I’ve written before about how the various aspects of our lives drive us to use multiple online personas, and that this is a shortcoming of social networking sites today. What I’m referring to here is that we all wear multiple “skins,” and to represent these personas online one needs separate profiles on separate social networking sites for our professional skin, our hobby skin, our family skin, our community skin, and so on. This is a problem of social networking sites today, and I’ve argued that it’s an architectural problem.

Computer trained to read mind images of words

An article appearing today on Reuters describes how researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Machine Learning Department have been experimenting with brain activity related to thinking of words. The process involves capturing MRI images of a person’s brain as they are shown and asked to think about specific words. The image captured on the MRI of the brain, while thinking the word, is matched by the computer to the word.

New Technology Trends Will Impact Traditional IT Roles

We’ve become fairly comfortable with the structure of our IT organizations, but new trends in technology product development are increasingly challenging these traditional models.

In the traditional (i.e., over the past 10 years or so) IT organization we have roughly aligned the organizational chart with a logical stack corresponding to our data processing footprint. We have Network Engineering, which is roughly focused on layers one through four of the OSI Stack. Systems Engineering, focuses on the servers and the O/S instances running on them. The business applications are sometimes served by a general development/QA/Test team or may be aligned vertically with the business units served by the applications. Data is often managed by business-aligned “data owners” and administered by one of the engineering teams. A Security team cuts across stack layers, accounting for access control as well as the broad array of IS Security concerns throughout the stack. An IT Operations team is accountable for Technical Operations processes and procedures and the general availability and integrity of the data processing footprint. The Telecom team is often bolted onto the IT organizational chart in some fashion, and frequently has a historical lineage outside of the IT department. It’s important also to include IT Facilities in this mix, as it is the foundation for the successful operation of the stack.

This model is under attack though, as new technology introductions are having a significant impact on our approach to casting the roles and hierarchy in our IT organizations.

Jayshree Ullal Departs Cisco

I learned this morning that Jayshree Ullal has decided to leave Cisco to pursue other opportunities. Given that I find myself often working with the folks at Cisco on strategic technology initiatives, it makes me sad to see Jayshree move on. On several occasions I had the pleasure of working with Jayshree on forward looking…

Robert Rauschenberg: 1925-2008

Our world has lost a tremendous mind, a gargantuan talent, and a wonderful man. Robert Rauschenberg passed on last night at the young age of 82. Rauschenberg was one of the most influential American artists of our life time. His pioneering of assemblage and juxtaposition of images created a window of enlightenment through which many…