Archive for June, 2010

Viking Longtrip

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Three days at the end of May saw Sean Bicknell and I head to the ninth annual VNUG (Viking NonStop User Group) conference held this year at Gällöfsta Manor, about half an hour north of Stockholm.

Day one was either an education day, or a golf tournament.  I was looking forward to a round of golf, but striking British Airways cabin staff had other ideas. Our rescheduled flight meant I’ll have to wait until next year to play my first golf in Sweden.  At least with an extra year to practice I’ll increase my chances of not coming last!

The real business began on the morning of day two.  Around 10 vendors set up their booths and a range of HP updates, vendor pitches and user presentations kicked off at 9.30am.  Our presentation was originally scheduled to be the final one of the event on day three, but a last-minute cancellation by one of the speakers meant we were moved to the afternoon of day two – no complaints there.

For XYPRO’s 20 minute slot we took a look at a few of the PCI-DSS requirements which can’t be met on a NonStop with native software.  This scenario applies to far more requirements than we had time to cover, but it was more than enough time to take a high-level look at three of the key PCI-DSS related tools we have to offer.

The first was XUA (XYGATE User Authentication) which provides logon controls via IP address, thus ticking the PDC-DSS 1.3.2 box:  Limit inbound Internet traffic to IP addresses within the DMZ.  XUA also provides far more functionality with the likes of LDAP-integrated Single Sign On, granular log-on control, time-related log-on restriction, full audit and more – not only providing extra uses, but also covering other PCI-DSS requirements including (but not limited to) 7.2, 8.1 and 8.5.13.

Following the theme of using one XYGATE solution to crack several different PCI-DSS nuts, were XSW (XYGATE Security Compliance Wizard) which is by far the best file-integrity/change-detection tool on the market and XMA (XYGATE Merged Audit) which chiefly consolidates and exports NonStop audit data and provides real-time alerts.  XSW and XMA apply to a long list of PCI requirements, so if you’re just starting a PCI project, be sure to take a look sooner rather than later.

PCI-DSS is a fairly hot topic in Europe right now and Sean and I thought his presentation was well received at the time.  Those thoughts were backed up a few days after the event, when the delegate feedback forms were returned, showing the XYPRO presentation to have scored the highest of the event – no mean feat when HP’s Mittal Parekh is in town – the man is so passionate he could talk about a paint drying process and I’d still be riveted!

It’s a VNUG tradition to have some sort of group activity on the evening of day two.  This year’s was kept under secret until they’d got everyone herded into a large empty conference room: line dancing!  I won’t deny that my heart sank when they first announced it, but I don’t mind admitting it was actually great fun – never thought I’d find myself saying that!  I’ll also admit that it’s far more difficult than it looks!

The event drew to a close at around 3.30pm on day three, giving us time to reflect on a well attended and very friendly VNUG event.  Our thanks to Tommy and the rest of the VNUG board for putting on another great conference.  With 2011 being the tenth anniversary, they’ve promised us an even more memorable event next year – we’re looking forward to it already.

Dan Lewis
XYPRO European Marketing Manager

Register today for the Global HP NonStop Symposium & Expo, 26-29th September -

In Memoriam: Lauren Uroff

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Sheila Johnson, CEO

When professionals join XYPRO, we like to think that they are joining more than just a software corporation; they are joining a close-knit family. To be sure, it’s close to impossible not to get incredibly attached to the wonderful, talented people that comprise the XYPRO family. So, it is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to one of our long-time XYPRO family members, Lauren Uroff. We are indeed in deep mourning, but at the same time, trying to celebrate the wonderful and rich life Lauren led. Over the past few weeks, we have heard so many touching and uplifting stories about Lauren—she simply made a positive, lasting impact on everyone she knew.

Kristie Rusk is one of the many people who Lauren deeply touched.
Below, Kristie offers her memories and tribute to our Lauren.

I’ve been an employee of XYPRO since 1987.  I’ve been here longer than any other XYPRO employee, except for Sheila Johnson, our CEO.  When I look back at these past  23 years, each year has it’s own “memorable moment” associated with it, some of them good and some of them bad.  In 1994, we had the infamous Northridge earthquake and I have memories of us all ducking under the conference room table during aftershocks.  In 2001, it was the 9/11 attacks while the ITUG conference was being held in Anaheim.  We scrambled to find places for our customers to stay who were unable to fly home.  In 2006, we had two “XY-babies” born within a few weeks of each other and two more babies were born in 2008.  This year promises to have its share of good memories for XYPRO.  But sadly, the one event that I will remember 2010 for is the loss of my co-worker and friend, Lauren Uroff.

Lauren joined XYPRO in 1992 as a QA Analyst and later that year, her husband Scott also joined XYPRO.  They quickly became vital members of the XYPRO team.  Together, they helped build the XYPRO Security products to become the leading edge products they are today.  Lauren was intensely proud of her work.  When we began to offer XYGATE classes here at the XYPRO offices, Lauren was key to the building and teaching of those class materials.  She loved working with customers and if she met you, either on the phone or in person, she never forgot your name!  As valuable an asset Lauren was to XYPRO, for me, she was one of my closest friends here at the office.  Lauren and I shared many things over the years.  We held down the fort by ourselves at the office while everyone was attending ITUG Conferences, we laughed in the lunchroom about the latest “news of the day”.  Lauren was bright, witty, an avid reader, a seeker of knowledge – from the silly to the sublime.  Our conversations ranged from deep and philosophical to arguments about who we liked better on “Top Chef”.

As proud as Lauren was of her work, her greatest pride was her family, her husband Scott and her son James.  After James was born, she changed her status at XYPRO from full-time employee to that of an independent contractor, so that she could have the flexibility in her schedule to play an active role in his life.  She spent many hours volunteering at his school and never missed a concert or karate practice.  She was determined that he be a well-rounded and polite young man.

In 2009, Lauren was diagnosed with cancer.  She worked from home as often as she could, but her presence at the office became less and less.  In December, while preparing to come back to the office on a regular basis, we got the devastating news that the cancer had spread.  Three months later in March 2010, we lost her.

It is sad to think that the newer employees here at XYPRO will never get the opportunity to know or work with Lauren.  But, it helps to know that Lauren’s legacy will live on in the quality of the XYPRO products that she helped build, the customers who she helped support and most importantly in the lives of her family.

Kristie Rusk
-Vice President of Finance