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   November 23, 2009

Vol 2009 - Issue 12  

IT Toolkits Newsletter

  

IT Toolkits Newsletter

 

CDs/DVDs life expectancy is 2 to 5 years

H-1B visas under attack again

IT Job DescriptionsThe National Archives warns - "CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer. However, a variety of factors ... may result in a much shorter life span for CDs/DVDs. Life expectancies are statistically based; any specific medium may experience a critical failure before its life expectancy is reached. Additionally, the quality of your storage environment may increase or decrease the life expectancy of the media. We recommend testing your media at least every two years to assure your records are still readable."

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  • Employ America Act would limit H-1B Visas
  • Recovery time is just one focus of CIOs

IT Salary Survey

Employ America Act would limit H-1B Visas

Position DescriptionsThe proposed Employ America Act has H-1B hiring restrictions that would bar any firm that lays off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers. This legislation could potentially affect a broad swath of tech firms that have laid-off large numbers of workers but continue hiring.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics high-tech industry overall has laid off more than 345,000 workers since August 2008, according to the two senators in the unveiling of what they called the Employ America Act.

The proposers of this legislation said that with the unemployment rate over 10%, companies that undertake mass layoffs shouldn't need to hire foreign guest workers when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs.

In February, these same legislators moved to prohibit any financial services firm that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hiring H-1B holders. That blanket restriction on hiring wasn't adopted, but Congress did agree to automatically make any firm receiving TARP funds "H-1B dependent."

A company is considered H-1B dependent if more than 15% of their workers are on the H-1B visa, but the TARP restriction applies regardless of the percent of visa holders on the payroll. Companies that are H-1B dependent must, among the things, make good faith efforts to hire U.S. workers first.

With the Senate expected to receive an immigration overhaul bill early next year, the prospects for any H-1B-related legislation is uncertain and probably unlikely to pass.
Proposed earlier the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 would set a number of restrictions on H-1B use, including the so-called 50-50 provision that would prohibit any firm with more than 50 workers from having more than half workforce on H-1B or L-1 visas. That provision is aimed at Indian outsourcing firms. The legislation also sets higher salary standards for visa workers as well as anti-fraud provisions.

Other proposed legislation that would to increase the H-1B cap and that would exempt foreign graduates of U.S. Ph.D. programs from counting toward a cap on H-1B visas.
 

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Recovery time is just one focus of CIOs

Business ContinuityIn  a recent survey it was found that 57 percent of CIOs see reducing recovery time in the event of IT failure and cutting the cost of backup as the two biggest pain-points for backup and disaster recovery. The next most significant difficulties were the ability to roll back to any point in time when recovering workloads and recovery testing.

Virtualization is already in place with the majority of those surveyed, with 86 percent of those questioned having a virtual infrastructure in place within their organizations. Other findings are:

  • Tape backup is the most popular technology involved for recovery of virtual machines, with 60 percent of organizations relying on tape to protect their virtualization implementations. 53 percent of organizations are using disk-to-disk backup products, while proprietary virtualization products are used by 23 percent;
  • 17 percent of organizations are only using tape backup for the backup / recovery of their virtual machines;
  • The number of respondents that were able to judge their recovery point objectives (RPO) when it came to virtualized environments was much lower than those able to define their recovery time objectives (RTO) - only 45 percent of those surveyed were able to state their satisfaction level around their RPOs.
Other areas of concern are IT Service Management, Enterprise Architecture, and IT Infrastructure:

IT Service ManagementIT Service Management - Change Control - Help Desk - Service Desks Over the past several years, there have been significant improvements in the tools available to IT support organizations. These tools can help in the automation of support and the remediation of problems. By deploying these tools, enterprise can optimize the size and the responsibilities of help desk personnel. This is the area where there are opportunities for significant cost savings and service level improvements.

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  • Enterprise ArchitectcureEnterprise Architecture Optimizing the enterprise architecture to focus on operation's  support can provide enterprises with immediate cost savings. By rationalizing the operation's portfolio, enterprises can reduce the costs associated with having redundant support contracts, over supporting, or under supporting IT systems.  Enterprise Architecture has become a common practice for large IT organizations. For the first time there is a methodology to encompass all of the various IT aspects and processes into a single practice. However, realizing the full potential of enterprise architecture can be challenging.

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IT InfrastructureIT Infrastructure Management Infrastructure Management can provide enterprises with immediate cost avoidance as it can improve the utilization of the IT infrastructure. However, enterprises should not think that infrastructure management is limited only to computer hardware and software. Rather, infrastructure management also can provide benefits to the network and storage environment. To capitalize on the cost savings offered by infrastructure management, enterprises should investigate using an external IT services provider for developing the architecture, integration, and support for the IT operational environment.

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