Data Availability 101: What Data Availability Means and How to Achieve It

What is data availability, and what does data availability mean for your business? Keep reading for an overview of data availability and best practices for achieving it.

What Is Data Availability?

Put simply, data availability refers to the ability of data to remain accessible at all times, including following unexpected disruptions.

You could think of data availability as the data equivalent of application uptime. Software vendors and service providers like to talk about how they guarantee an extremely high level of uptime (Amazon famously promises “eleven nines” of availability, for example) for their applications and services. They do this because they want to emphasize how much effort they put into keeping their software up and running even when unexpected events — like a disk failure, cyber-attack or natural disaster — occur.

Data availability is similar in that it is a measure of how long your data remains available and usable, regardless of which disruptions may be occurring to the infrastructure or software that hosts the data.

Data Availability 101 banner Data Availability 101: What Data Availability Means and How to Achieve It

Why Does Data Availability Matter?

Ensuring data availability is important for a number of reasons. Some of them are obvious, and some less so.

Most obviously, if you depend on data to power your business, you want to keep that data available so that your business can continue to operate normally. Lack of availability of a database that contains customer email addresses might prevent your marketing department from conducting an email campaign, for example. Or the failure of a database that hosts account information might disrupt your employees’ ability to log into the applications that they need to do their jobs.

Data availability matters beyond your own organization, too. In many cases, your relationships with partner companies depend in part on the sharing of data, and if the data you are supposed to provide is unavailable, it could harm your partnerships.

In some cases, licensing agreements with vendors or customers may also require you to maintain certain levels of data availability. So could compliance frameworks; for example, article 32 of the GDPR mandates that companies retain “the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner.”

Achieving High Data Availability

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Guaranteeing high rates of data availability requires addressing a number of factors that impact whether data is accessible:

The physical reliability of infrastructure

Are your servers and disks designed with data availability in mind? Is your data distributed across clusters so that it will remain available even if some parts of the infrastructure fail? Do you have tools and procedures in place to alert you to and help you resolve problems with the infrastructure? Are loads properly balanced across your infrastructure so that wear and tear is distributed evenly in order to maximize the longevity of the infrastructure as a whole? Are you prepared to handle disruptions like DDoS attacks, which could prevent access to your data?

Server and database recovery time

If your infrastructure does fail and you need to recover data, how quickly can you get your servers, disks and databases back up and running? The answer to this question depends not just on how quickly you can set up replacement hardware, but also how long it takes your software tools to perform tasks like rebooting operating systems and restarting database services.

Repair of corrupted data

Data can become unavailable not only when the infrastructure hosting it disappears, but also when the data becomes corrupted, and therefore unusable. How effective are your tools and processes at finding and repairing corrupted data?

Data formatting and transformation

Data that is not available in the correct format, or that takes a long time to transform from one format to another in order to become usable, can also cause data availability problems. Do you have the tools and processes in place to streamline data formatting and transformation?

Data Availability and Disaster Recovery

In most cases, data availability should be one component of your business’s disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Disaster recovery and business continuity involve making sure that all of your infrastructure, applications, and data are protected against unexpected disruptions.

When forming a disaster recovery plan, you should take into account the factors described above that impact data availability. You should also calculate metrics like Recover Time Objective (RTO), which measures how quickly you need to restore data in order to maintain business continuity, and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which measures how much data you can afford to lose permanently following a disaster without causing a critical business disruption.

Learn more about the latest in high availability in our on-demand webcast.

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Auto Industry Execs: Three Road Safety Innovations To Keep An Eye On

 Auto Industry Execs: Three Road Safety Innovations To Keep An Eye On

Each year, more than a million people are killed on roads and highways around the world and millions more are injured. Thankfully there is developing technology that may soon curb these devastating statistics. For leaders in the auto industry, now is a critical time to lean in and observe.

How technology is making roads safer

When technology and driving are mentioned in the same conversation, the connotations are typically negative. Distracted driving is a huge concern in countries all over the world – particularly here at home in the U.S. – and technology is one of the primary culprits.

In 2016 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives and injured another 391,000.

“During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cellphones while driving,” the NHTSA explains. “That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.”

But while smartphones and other technology serve as distractions, there’s also reason to be hopeful that new technology could actually make our roadways safer. For organizations in and around the auto industry, these promising developments, gadgets, and trends are worth watching:

1. Speed-detection cameras

Drivers typically view speed-detection cameras as undesirable. Nobody wants to know they’re being watched – especially when it means they could end up with an expensive fine or mark on their driving record. But the reality is that speed detection plays a profoundly positive role in roadway safety.

“When you consider the number of people impacted by even a single road death or serious injury – the family, the friends, the work colleagues – it’s easier to accept the importance of promoting good speed sense and to appreciate the value of the contribution speed cameras make towards protecting us from preventable, unnecessary grief and suffering,” according to AXA Car Insurance.

AXA points to research that suggests reducing the average speed on our roads by just five percent could reduce road fatalities by 20% and injuries by 10%. So, while they may force drivers to slow down, people can rest easy knowing that speed-detection cameras are making local roads and interstates safer for everyone. This also creates an opportunity for auto industry execs to shift the focus away from speed and towards other elements of the driving experience – such as comfort and safety.

2. Intelligent road studs

Highways England is set to install 170 innovative LED road studs at a motorway junction that’s used by more than 90,000 vehicles per day. The studs, which will be installed at Switch Island in Merseyside, North England, will light up when traffic lights turn from red to green, and vice versa. This will enable drivers to see which lanes to follow and when to slow down.

At the junction where the road studs are being installed, there have been 49 serious collisions over the past two years. “The innovative light-up road studs, along with the other improvements we’re introducing, will make it much easier to navigate the junction, benefiting the tens of thousands of drivers who travel through it every day,” says Phil Tyrrell, project manager at Highways England.

Since this is the first project of its kind, it remains to be seen how practical and effective intelligent road studs will be. The best-case scenario is that it will reduce the number of accidents. At the very least, it shows that innovation is moving in the right direction. And if the technology does work, it will signal a major opportunity for companies in the auto industry to innovate similar products stateside.

3. Autonomous car features

You can’t talk about driving technology without mentioning autonomous vehicles. While we’re still a few years away from fully driverless cars, the technology in newer car models is greatly improving. Today’s autonomous features include advanced cruise control, lane departure warnings, automatic parallel parking, and sensors that detect objects and initiate braking.

Adding it all up

Whether it’s New York City, Paris, Tokyo, or anywhere in between, you’ll be hard-pressed to find drivers, insurers, administrators, lawmakers, or healthcare professionals who don’t want safer roads and highways. Crashes and collisions impact us all in one way or another, and fewer accidents would mean fewer injuries, deaths, and catastrophes. But there’s no group of people who want safer roads more than auto industry execs. If roads don’t get safer, jobs are on the line.

The good news is that technology is improving at a rapid rate. We’re finally at a point where we have the technology to make roads safer. But with some hurdles still left to be cleared in implementation and application, time is of the essence. Getting insurance companies, government organizations, and lawmakers to adopt these technologies is another battle that must be painstakingly won.

The hope is that these victories will be won in the coming months.

Learn more about How High-Tech And Automotive Industries Propel The Future.

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Wholesale distributors build foundation for growth

Nonprofit, Founded by Former NBA All-Star and Sacramento Mayor, Turns to NetSuite to Support Growth Beyond the Classroom

pr st hope Wholesale distributors build foundation for growth
pr st hope 2 Wholesale distributors build foundation for growth

SAN MATEO, Calif.—June 20, 2018St. HOPE, a nonprofit community development corporation, has leveraged Oracle NetSuite to support its mission to create one of the finest urban pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public school systems in the United States. With NetSuite SuiteSuccess for Nonprofits, St. HOPE has been able to streamline critical business functions in order to focus its time and resources on providing high quality public education and creating living-wage sustainable jobs.

Founded by former NBA All-Star and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson in 1989, St. HOPE began as a single, portable classroom that served as an afterschool program for Sacramento High School students. Today, it serves 1,800 students through five charter schools and manages residential properties as well as an Art and Cultural Center that includes a cafe, bookstore, barbershop, art gallery and 200-seat theater. The charter school network focuses on students from urban communities and aims to graduate self-motivated, industrious and critical-thinking leaders who are committed to serving others, passionate about lifelong learning and prepared to earn a degree from a four-year college.

“As we found success with the schools, the organization realized that we had an opportunity to do more in the community,” said Julian Love, chief financial officer, St. HOPE Community Development. “That meant we needed a system that could better track and manage finances. SuiteSuccess fit exactly what we needed.”

With the preconfigured roles, dashboards and nonprofit industry best practices within SuiteSuccess, St. HOPE has been able to shorten payroll processes by 87 percent, digitize & gain greater control over purchasing processes, and achieve real-time visibility into its financial performance. As a result, St. HOPE has been able to manage the increasing business complexity presented by its growth and expanding scope. St. HOPE selected NetSuite SuiteSuccess for Nonprofits in March 2017 and went live with a full-fledged Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in less than three months.

“NetSuite has a proud history of helping organizations in the nonprofit sector,” said David Geilhufe, Head of Nonprofit, Oracle NetSuite. “With SuiteSuccess, we’re able to help thriving organizations like St. HOPE to quickly and easily manage critical business functions so they can focus on their mission and on helping the community.”


About St. HOPE
St. HOPE began in 1989 in a portable classroom at Sacramento High School as an after-school program named St. HOPE Academy. Founded by NBA All-Star and Oak Park native Kevin Johnson, St. HOPE is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to revitalize the Oak Park community through public education, and economic development. Learn more at www.sthope.org.

About Oracle NetSuite
For more than 20 years, Oracle NetSuite has helped organizations grow, scale and adapt to change. NetSuite provides a suite of cloud-based applications, which includes financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce, used by more than 40,000 organizations and subsidiaries in 199 countries and territories.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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NetSuite's Latest Press Coverage

See the KPIs that Dynamics 365 is Generating for Moneris

Moneris Case Study 1 300x249 See the KPIs that Dynamics 365 is Generating for Moneris

Moneris has 600 users on Microsoft Dynamics 365, managing the customer experience from onboarding and post-sale, to call center and field service interactions. Beyond the customer-facing roles, which make up about half of their end users, Moneris also uses Dynamics 365 for some of their back-office and risk management teams. This ensures that all customer information is tracked and managed in one system. We sat down with Allan Measor, Vice President, Business Transformation and Customer Enablement at Moneris to hear about their experience.

Moneris overview:

062118 1624 SeetheKPIst1 See the KPIs that Dynamics 365 is Generating for Moneris

Why did you choose to start using Dynamics 365 for all new support inquiries immediately following the implementation?

“For a short time, we ran our old ticket system as a reference tool alongside Dynamics 365. We analyzed our old ticket data, and over 80% of our inquiries were one and done, with 90% solved in a week or less. Because of this, we chose not to import our old tickets. In terms of data migration into Dynamics 365, we imported standard items like customer company data, name, address, account numbers, email address, phone numbers, all key payment device data, and work order information. We also authored over 1,900 knowledge articles into Dynamics 365 for reference.”

Why did you choose to be on the Cloud?

“Our legacy systems tended to take longer in terms of features and updates, so the idea that Cloud solutions get features firsts, thereby empowering our organization to be more current, was appealing to us. We also could avoid costly infrastructure investments and gain reliability and redundancy when on the cloud.”

Why did you choose Dynamics 365 for your CRM platform?

“Since we were already using Office 365, our team members were able to easily adjust to the Dynamics 365 and our customers now receive a seamless experience because of our investment in the Microsoft stack. The value of Microsoft’s Canadian data center, the feature richness of Dynamics 365, and the ease of integration into our existing technology footprint were key deciding factors for us.”

Why did you choose PowerObjects as your partner?

“PowerObjects came highly recommended from multiple individuals at Microsoft. We also had several vendor meetings with them, and ultimately liked their collaborative approach. We looked at other big consulting firms but liked the agile and flexible approach that PowerObjects offers, along with their deep Dynamics experience, so we went ahead with PowerObjects and haven’t regretted it once. We also liked that PowerObjects has an office and local staff right here in Toronto.”

What are some of the KPIs that you’ve seen since implementing Dynamics 365?

“We’ve seen a 4% reduction in average handle times (AHT) and a 5% increase in first call resolution (FCR) on top of our already high FCR which was around 80%. We’ve also seen improvements in our onboarding processes for new team members since there are more standardized processes in place, resulting in a decrease in onboarding time and an increase in employee performance. Additionally, we’re experiencing better Interactive Voice Response to Dynamics integration, improving screen pop accuracy for Customer Service Representatives.”

To learn more and read the full case study, click here.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Athene Cloud and Athene 11 General Availability

The recent release of AtheneTM Cloud and AtheneTM 11 provide exciting new features and capabilities to our clients and open those capabilities to organizations everywhere.

Athene Cloud takes the world-class Athene capacity management software and puts all of the processing and storage in the cloud.  This means that organizations can let Syncsort manage their server, the Capacity Management Information System (CMIS, also known as the Athene database), as well as provide key services to organizations that may not have a dedicated Capacity Management function.

Those services might include something as weekly monitoring, upgrade assistance, or training staff in creating key reports.  However, organizations can choose to allow Syncsort’s experienced consultants to manage the entire Capacity Management process – from creating assessment reports, to weekly health reports, daily performance monitoring, change impact assessments, and completing a full capacity/business alignment plan.

All organizations, big and small, can benefit from a formal Capacity Management process and the use of Athene – now organizations without dedicated teams and available resources can team with Syncsort to provide that service.

Athene Cloud and Athene 11 General Availability banner Athene Cloud and Athene 11 General Availability

The Athene 11 release adds additional functionality, including full support for IBM i, using direct DB2 database connections to capture capacity and performance data.  IBM i is a key platform used in over 100,000 organizations worldwide and managing the performance and capacity of services that rely on IBM i is key for those organizations.

Athene ServiceView, a reporting and analysis tool that provides key time-to-live information to capacity managers, has been enhanced to include more targets and the ability to span multiple CMIS.

The new Concentrator Control Center is a PCI-compliant store-and-forward node for data that improves security and underpins Athene Cloud.

Other enhancements include enhanced portal dashboard reporting and significant performance improvements in Data Management, VMware data processing, and ServiceView calculation and report generation.

AtheneTM Cloud and AtheneTM 11 are now generally available.  Additional details can be seen here: Press Release

Make sure to check out our on demand webcast for even more on the latest release of the Athene products.

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Syncsort Blog

API-Led Architecture is the New API Strategy

iStock 913589018 e1529600929833 API Led Architecture is the New API Strategy

























Integration

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The TIBCO Blog

How to mark leaves of polynomial based on its position in tree

I’ve been struggling with this for a few days, and so I thought I might ask this here. Part of the problem lies in the fact that I do not even know the mathematical solution, which runs the risk of this question falling out of the scope of this site. Nevertheless, I’ll proceed:

Consider this unexpanded polynomial of Symbols constructed out of heads Plus and Times only:

poly = ((a + b) (c + d (e + f)) + (g + h) i) j + k

What I’d like to do: Without expanding the polynomial, mark the leaves of the polynomial by integers based on its position in the tree. This labeling of leaves must have the property such that

  1. When Expanded, each factor in each term is given a unique label
  2. No more labels are used than necessary for the whole polynomial (number of distinct labels equals overall order of polynomial in all its variables).

For poly, a solution is

((a[1] + b[1]) (c[2] + d[2] (e[3] + f[3])) + (g[2] + h[2]) i[1]) j[0] + k[0]

The result is not unique, but observe that the expanded form satisfies both requirements 1 and 2.

a[1] c[2] j[0] + b[1] c[2] j[0] + a[1] d[2] e[3] j[0] + 
  b[1] d[2] e[3] j[0] + a[1] d[2] f[3] j[0] + b[1] d[2] f[3] j[0] + 
  g[2] i[1] j[0] + h[2] i[1] j[0] + k[0]

It is not necessary that terms with fewer factors use specific labels in any order: for example a labeling of the polynomial in which the 2nd last term of the expanded form is h[1] i[3] j[0] (missing label 2) or in which the last term is k[2] is acceptable.

Moreover I’d like a solution that is faster than just expanding the polynomial and labeling each term.


My original attempt was based on traversing the tree,

WH5eL How to mark leaves of polynomial based on its position in tree

and raising/lowering the value of the label based on whether it passes through Plus or Times. Unfortunately, none of my solutions based on this give the correct answer.

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Recent Questions – Mathematica Stack Exchange

A Guide to Making AI Explainable – Yes, It’s Possible!

Screen Shot 2018 06 18 at 4.33.19 PM A Guide to Making AI Explainable – Yes, It’s Possible!

The possibilities of artificial intelligence are endless. AI helps businesses create tremendous efficiencies through automation, while enhancing an organizations ability to make more effective business decisions. However, it’s no surprise that companies are beginning to be held accountable for the outcomes of their AI-based decisions. From the proliferation of fake news to most recently, the deliberate creation of the AI psychopath Norman, we’re beginning to understand and experience the potential negative outcomes of AI.

While AI, machine learning, and deep learning have been deemed to be ‘black box’ technologies, unable to provide any information or explanation of its actions, this inability to explain AI will no longer be acceptable to consumers, regulators, and other stakeholders. For example, with the General Data Protection Regulation in effect, companies will now be required to provide consumers with an explanation for AI-based decisions.

FICO has been pioneering explainable AI (xAI) for more than 25 years and is at the cutting edge of helping people really understand and open up the AI black box. As you move forward with your AI journey, we’ve curated a list of blogs that uncover the importance of and trends leading to xAI.

According to GDPR, customers need to have clear-cut reasons for how they were adversely impacted by a decision. But what happens when your model was built with AI? This blog post uncovers the requirement of making AI explainable.

AI comes with many challenges, including trying to decipher what these models have learned, and thus their decision criteria. This blog lists ways to explain AI when used in a risk or regulatory context based on FICO’s experience.

Ready to make AI explainable? This post illustrates how you can achieve better performance and explainability by combining machine learning and scorecard approaches.

In 1996 we filed a patent for Reason Reporter—indicative of how long, in fact, FICO has been working with Explainable AI. Simply enough, Reason Reporter provide reasons associated with the neural network scores Falcon produces. The not so simple part? This post demonstrates how we utilize the reason reporter algorithm during model training.

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FICO

How To Drive Blockchain Technology Value In Life Sciences

 How To Drive Blockchain Technology Value In Life Sciences

Blockchain: Everywhere you turn in life sciences digitization, this ledger system is involved. Fully 83% of executives in life sciences expect blockchain integration in healthcare within five years. Last year’s proof of concept study clearly showed strong results using blockchain in identity trust. PC Magazine mentioned the use of blockchain for legal proof of ownership of unique cannabis strains.

How to drive blockchain technology value In life sciences

Life sciences companies are just starting to invest in digital ledgers technology (DLT) like blockchain. A 2017 survey from IDC showed that a quarter of IT professionals in the industry were already using DLTs or implementing it. Another third was evaluating or planning on evaluating the technology. But why have DLT systems started to become so popular for life science?

DLTs can provide instantly verifiable accountability to the research and development process. Beyond that, it also helps record accurate shipment data. This is important in an industry where environmental control is vital to success. It’s expected that the use of DLTs will rise as investment in digitization increases. But how do we know that this process is happening in life sciences?

Digitization increases the use of Big Data, analytics, cooperative work, and transparency. DLTs such as blockchain improve these aspects without compromising data integrity or security. It’s expected that supply chain, regulatory compliance, and product safety are probably the first blockchain projects for many life sciences companies. Sterilization processes or cold storage and transport of biologics are expected to lead the way for DLT options. Providing irrefutable documentation of this information builds trust between shareholders.

Using blockchain in clinical trials

Let’s look at an example of blockchain use in clinical trials. A pipeline drug can have a number of supply chain issues. Shipping and receiving of the experimental drug and test samples need to be tracked. Proper security, global payment management, and data sharing must also be managed. Smart contracts help improve payments to suppliers and research organizations. Internet of Things sensors can be implemented with shipping processes to update blockchain records. This helps catch potential environmental variances in medications during shipping.

Tracking document exchanges, data sharing, loT genealogy, and internal manufacturing processes can be monitored through DLTs. Now imagine adding this to current track and trace regulations for medications. Electronic product code information service requirements are much easier to manage using systems like blockchain. It provides an unforgeable ledger record that minimizes reaction time to public health crises resulting from medication problems. At the same time, it protects patient privacy by providing limited access to blockchain records.

Measuring overall DLT performance

What kind of metrics can be used to measure performance changes using DLT systems? One option is to look at reported errors compared to the overall process volume. Comparing the existing numbers against a blockchain system can often help your company locate and identify specific discrepancies and issues in the system. Because DLT systems have a unique signature with each transaction, it cannot be modified. This builds trust between supply chain parties, making the reconciliation process faster, easier, and more secure.

To implement blockchains into an organization, stakeholders must first decide which information should fall in a public versus a private blockchain. Sensitive, proprietary, or private information should be kept on a private blockchain so that it is protected. At the same time, data access and sharing must be considered. Who is allowed access and who has the responsibility to read and write to the system needs to be determined prior to starting the conversion process. Before the process goes live, your audit trails will also need to be tested.

By connecting clinical trial management programs to distributed ledgers, your organization’s supply requests, test results, and sensor data can be automated. This process can help speed up and improve the efficacy of the clinical trials. The level of transparency for the data can also help with your patient recruitment. The blockchain ledgers make it easier to improve contract payments and fair compensation while limiting overpayment risk.

How do you successfully add blockchain to your operation? Make sure you benchmark your current business processes. Map that process both before and after adding a DLT system to your operation. Take care in management of ownership and access to both internal and outside information. Ensure that patient and critical data is protected securely. Above all, before starting, figure out whether you have the expertise and resources to set up the system in the first place.

The advantages of using blockchain in life science ensure that this part of digitization is here to stay. DLT systems will help speed up and improve the quality of clinical trials. Companies that take advantage of these benefits will reap great rewards.

Learn how DLT systems can work with your business through SAP Leonardo.

Learn more about this topic in the IDC whitepaper: The Value of Blockchain Technology in the Life Sciences Industry.

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Digitalist Magazine

Rhinoceros Rub

 Rhinoceros Rub

Rhinoceros enjoys chest rub.

“we all like this.”
Image courtesy of https://imgur.com/gallery/IxzI3Sk.

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