Monday, December 22, 2014

Peak Performance

The end of the year is a time for reflection on this year’s events and planning for next year’s business opportunities. Our customers faced a lot of challenges this year and so did we as the economy changed, the internet faced new challenges and new regulations took effect.

 As the economies of Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and the USA changed this year our business changed to meet the demands of companies and governments with tighter budgets and growing storage requirements. To meet the demand many of our old and new customers wanted to expand their legacy NetApp infrastructures. With tight budgets they needed a partner who would work with them to provide cost effective solutions for NetApp equipment and support, and Zerowait’s business grew to meet these needs.  On the operations side, we had to work with a new bank that specialized in foreign currency exchange to meet the needs of one of our customers with many international divisions. The bank we have been using for two decades was unable to help us because of new Dodd Frank regulations.  Interestingly, the new bank we are using offers better credit card processing rates than our old processor, so while Zerowait experienced some unexpected consequences because of the new regulations, our new banking partner had a better credit card solution which was an unexpected benefit. 

 Our customers around the world depend on the internet for their business success and so does Zerowait. We all recognize that all business is now global and our partnerships span the world. The issues of cyber liability and data breach raised their heads this year and the changing insurance landscape and vulnerabilities that corporate networks face have caused everyone to take another look at the centralization of storage in corporate networks and the security of on line data. As storage grows with the expansion of the internet of things, every company needs to have a business continuity plan that includes strategy for data access to critical files like accounting and operations if their network is breached. Perhaps silos and private cloud still have their place in modern storage architecture.

Just like the banking challenge we faced in 2014 led us to a better solution in another part of our business, we expect that many of the challenges in 2015 will also bring innovative solutions for our customers willing to look outside the box to solve their problems. We look forward to working with you to make 2015 a success

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition





Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition

On the evening of Tuesday, September 9th, Congressional leaders unveiled a 1,603 page, $1.01 trillion FY 2015 appropriations bill to fund the U.S. government through the end of September 2015. One provision of the omnibus bill would delay the IANA transition until after the September 30, 2015 expiration of the current contract between the NTIA and ICANN.
Language in the bill states:
SEC. 540. (a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.
(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall expire on September 30, 2015.
That language, a modified version of the “Duffy Amendment” that was contained in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, would allow NTIA to start spending funds on a transition after exercising its first option to extend the contract.
In addition, the explanatory report language of the Commerce-Justice-State portion of the omnibus spending bill, in which the above language is contained, states the following:
Internet governance.-The agreement reiterates House and Senate language regarding the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) matters and modifies Senate language by directing NTIA to inform appropriate Congressional committees not less than 45 days in advance of any such proposed successor contract or any other decision related to changing NTIA's role with respect to ICANN or IANA activities. In addition, NTIA shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations within 45 days of enactment of this Act regarding any recourse that would be available to the United States if the decision is made to transition to a new contract and any subsequent decisions made following such transfer of Internet governance are deleterious to the United States.
This language appears to require NTIA to inform Congress 45 days prior to extending the IANA contract or taking any other decision in regard to it; as well as to submit a report to Congress within 45 days after the spending bill’s enactment regarding whether the US would have any post-transition recourse if subsequent decisions were deleterious to the U.S.
This final bill language has already been negotiated with and accepted by Senate Democratic and House Republican leaders and is likely to be enacted and sent to President Obama by the weekend. It is unlikely that the White House would veto the bill and risk a government shutdown over this IANA language (although other provisions could become sticking points between the Administration and Congress).
Rumors were already circulating in Washington that NTIA was prepared to extend the current IANA contract by at least six months in recognition of the fact that it may be impossible for the ICANN community to design and stress test enhanced accountability measures by the end of the current contract term, much less have them in place by then. So the bill may have little effect on the actual timetable for the transition. It remains to be seen what reaction to its enactment comes from ICANN, the ICANN community, and other nations.



Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
Virtualaw LLC
1155 F Street, NW
Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004