Connaught Hotel Refurbishment – Blair Associates Architecture #wheatfields #hospice

#connaught hotel


Connaught Hotel Refurbishment

The Connaught Hotel is located in the centre of Mayfair between fashionable Mount Street and Carlos Place. Blair Associates Architecture Ltd has worked on the Connaught for the past ten years, originally working on the new kitchen and restaurants for Gordon Ramsey. Under new ownership it was felt that the Hotel was well overdue for a refurbishment. The Connaught Hotel is a Grade II Listed Building and a famous haunt for numerous celebrities and politicians. Designed and built in the 1890’s the building has numerous historic features such as a fabulous main staircase, ornamental ceilings and fireplaces in the ground floor public spaces and a number of well preserved bedrooms.

The carefully planned refurbishment required the replacement of the total air conditioning system, the total electrical and data systems, hot and cold water services, drainage system, full removal and replacement of the roof, which had been altered greatly over the recent past through the introduction of air conditioning plant to try and keep pace with the requirements of modern clientele. In order to provide a high quality service the kitchen areas had to be extended, which entailed enlarging the basement areas to the Hotel. Vertical transportation in terms of lifts, service lifts and hoists, and the introduction of new vertical shafts through the building and the replacement of all the lifts. The refurbishment covered every floor and involved the total refurbishment of 93 bedrooms and suites which has brought the Hotel back up to date in terms of service and customer comforts. Blair Associates Architecture Ltd are co-ordinating Architects involved with preparation and negotiation of all Listed Building Consents, Building Control and detailed restored features including the external façade, stonework, brickwork, introduction of a new Winter garden to the front of the building, extending the dining facilities. In the interior the main staircase benefits from the removal of the original fire screen separation added in the 1950’s to allow the magnificent structure to be read on every floor as part of the total Hotel environment, allowing the scheme to retain all the charm and the historic character but with modern services and facilities.

Blair Associates Architecture Ltd. are the overall Architects for all aspects of the Connaught Hotel including refurbishment of the historic building with the new Winter Garden, Terraces, the New West Wing and co-ordinating Architects for the Tadao Ando Water Feature to the front of the Connaught Hotel.

Master Planning • Urban Design • Architecture • Interior Architecture • Space Planning • Product Design
2010 Blair Associates Architecture Ltd.

Cloud Services & Consulting #paas, #iaas, #cloud #backup, #cloud #services, #cloud #security,

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Security Assessment, VAPT, ECSA Training in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Gurgaon,


A penetration test is done to evaluate the security of a computer system or network by simulating an attack by a malicious user / hacker. The process involves active exploitation of security vulnerabilities that may be present due to poor or improper system configuration, known and / or unknown hardware or software flaws, or operational weaknesses in process or design.

This analysis is carried out from the position of a potential attacker, to determine feasibility of an attack and the resulting business impact of a successful exploit. Usually this is presented with recommendations for mitigation or a technical solution.

About this workshop

This workshop gives an in-depth perspective of penetration testing approach and methodology that covers all modern infrastructure, operating systems and application environments.

This workshop is designed to teach security professionals the tools and techniques required to perform comprehensive information security assessment.

Participants will learn how to design, secure and test networks to protect their organization from the threats hackers and crackers pose. This workshop will help participants to effectively identify and mitigate risks to the security of their organization s infrastructure.

This 40 hour highly interactive workshop will help participants have hands on understanding and experience in Security Assessment.

A proper understanding of Security Assessment is an important requirement to analyze the integrity of the IT infrastructure.

Expertise in security assessment is an absolute requirement for a career in information security management and could be followed by management level certifications like CISA, CISSP, CISM, CRISC and ISO 27001.

There are many reasons to understand Security Assessment:

  • Prepare yourself to handle penetration testing assignments with more clarity
  • Understand how to conduct Vulnerability Assessment
  • Expand your present knowledge of identifying threats and vulnerabilities
  • Bring security expertise to your current occupation
  • Become more marketable in a highly competitive environment

Therefore this workshop will prepare you to handle VA / PT assignments and give you a better understanding of various security concepts and practices that will be of valuable use to you and your organization.

This workshop will significantly benefit professionals responsible for security assessment of the network / IT infrastructure.

  • IS / IT Specialist / Analyst / Manager
  • IS / IT Auditor / Consultant
  • IT Operations Manager
  • Security Specialist / Analyst
  • Security Manager / Architect
  • Security Consultant / Professional
  • Security Officer / Engineer
  • Security Administrator
  • Security Auditor
  • Network Specialist / Analyst
  • Network Manager / Architect
  • Network Consultant / Professional
  • Network Administrator
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Administrator

Anyone aspiring for a career in Security Assessment would benefit from this workshop. The workshop is restricted to participants who have knowledge of ethical hacking countermeasures.

The entire workshop is a combination of theory and hands-on sessions conducted in a dedicated ethical hacking lab environment.

  • The Need for Security Analysis
  • Advanced Googling
  • TCP/IP Packet Analysis
  • Advanced Sniffing Techniques
  • Vulnerability Analysis with Nessus
  • Advanced Wireless Testing
  • Designing a DMZ
  • Snort Analysis
  • Log Analysis
  • Advanced Exploits and Tools
  • Penetration Testing Methodologies
  • Customers and Legal Agreements
  • Rules of Engagement
  • Penetration Testing Planning and Scheduling
  • Pre Penetration Testing Checklist
  • Information Gathering
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • External Penetration Testing
  • Internal Network Penetration Testing
  • Routers and Switches Penetration Testing
  • Firewall Penetration Testing
  • IDS Penetration Testing
  • Wireless Network Penetration Testing
  • Denial of Service Penetration Testing
  • Password Cracking Penetration Testing
  • Social Engineering Penetration Testing
  • Stolen Laptop, PDAs and Cell phones Penetration Testing
  • Application Penetration Testing
  • Physical Security Penetration Testing
  • Database Penetration testing
  • VoIP Penetration Testing
  • VPN Penetration Testing
  • War Dialing
  • Virus and Trojan Detection
  • Log Management Penetration Testing
  • File Integrity Checking
  • Blue Tooth and Hand held Device Penetration Testing
  • Telecommunication and Broadband Communication Penetration Testing
  • Email Security Penetration Testing
  • Security Patches Penetration Testing
  • Data Leakage Penetration Testing
  • Penetration Testing Deliverables and Conclusion
  • Penetration Testing Report and Documentation Writing
  • Penetration Testing Report Analysis
  • Post Testing Actions
  • Ethics of a Penetration Tester
  • Standards and Compliance

Master Data Management (MDM) Hub Architecture #master #data #management #architecture


James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger ( and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

The Master Data Management (MDM) hub is a database with the software to manage the master data that is stored in the database and keep it synchronized with the transactional systems that use the master data. There are three basic styles of architecture used for Master Data Management hubs: the registry, the repository, and the hybrid approach.

Repository (also called Enterprise or Centralized or Transactional) The complete collection of master data for an enterprise is stored in a single database, including all the attributes required by all the applications that use the master data. The applications that consume, create, or maintain master data are all modified to use the master data in the hub, instead of the master data previously maintained in the application database, making the master data hub the system of entry (SOE) as well as the system of record (SOR). So if you have a CRM application, it would be modified to use the customer table in the master data hub instead of its own customer table (either by accessing the data directly in the hub or by the data in the hub being transferred to the source). Some of the benefits:

  • There are no issues with keeping multiple versions of the same customer record in multiple applications synchronized, because all the applications use the same record
  • There is less chance of duplicate records because there is only one set of data, so duplicates are relatively easy to detect

But there are some issues to consider:

  • It s not always easy or even possible to change your existing applications to use the new master data (i.e. you are using an off-the-shelf product that does not have a feature to use or import data from another source)
  • Coming up with a data model that includes all the necessary data, without it being so large that it s impossible to use (i.e. you have multiple applications that require different address formats)
  • What to do with data elements that are not used by all applications (i.e. a customer added by an order-entry application would likely have significantly fewer attributes than a customer added by the CRM application)
  • It can be extremely expensive and take a long time to implement, because it requires changes to the applications that maintain and consume the master data
  • You will need to transform and load all the current databases into the hub, removing duplicates in the process.
  • You will need to figure out how to handle history since you are changing your databases to use a new key for all you master data so you have to deal with many years of history that was created using different keys for the master data.

Registry (also called Federated) The opposite of the repository approach, as each source system remains in control of its own data and remains the system of entry, so none of the master data records are stored in the MDM hub. All source system data records are mapped in the master data registry, making the master data registry the system of record (a virtual master data system). Data maps show the relationship between the keys of the different source systems (i.e. one row in a table for each master data entity and columns for the keys of the application systems). For example, if there are records for a particular customer in the CRM, Order Entry, and Customer Service databases, the MDM hub would contain a mapping of the keys for these three records to a common key. Benefit: Because each application maintains its own data, the changes to application code to implement this model are usually minimal, and current application users generally do not need to be aware of the MDM system. Downside: Every query against MDM data is a distributed query across all the entries for the desired data in all the application databases. Plus, adding an application to the MDM hub means adding columns to the key-matching table, which is not a big issue, but it may also mean changing queries to include the new source of information. Finally, while it helps you find duplicates, it does not help you in cleaning them up (i.e. if a person has many records with different phone numbers, there is not a way to determine the one to use)

Hybrid – Includes features of both the repository and registry models: Leaves the master data records in the application databases and maintains keys in the MDM hub, as the registry model does. But it also replicates the most important attributes for each master entity in the MDM hub, so that a significant number of MDM queries can be satisfied directly from the hub database, and only queries that reference less-common attributes have to reference the application database. Issue: Must deal with synchronization, update conflicts and replication-latency issues.

There are other variations to the above three basic styles: A Data aggregation implementation that involves the creation of a new system that is neither the system of entry nor the system of record but a downstream system used to aggregate the attributes of multiple systems and pass them to lower level subscribing systems; a System-of-record-only implementation or Hub based implementation where the master data hub is the system of record, but the system of entry remains the sources systems and new records are transferred to the master data hub and any discrepancies in the data defer to the master data hub. Data flow is bidirectional as new records in the master data hub are pushed into the source systems. And optionally new records could be added into the master data hub, making it very similar to the Repository method (with the only difference being the master data hub is not the only system of entry).

How to move from a Single Server to High Availability with DAG


How to move from a Single Server to High Availability with DAG


A lot of small or medium sized companies started with a single Exchange Server box without any thoughts on high availability. The reason for this was that, especially with Exchange Server 2007, the high availability features have been so complex, that they don’t want to talk about them or that they never thought they really needed a high available messaging solution.

With Exchange Server 2010 things have changed: the new Database Availability Feature (so called DAG) makes high availability easier than before. Indeed, they don’t need to buy the Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server to provide high availability, the Standard Edition is enough.

Within this article I will describe an easy and perfectly working solution to migrate from a single server Exchange Server 2010 solution to one with high availability using Database Availability Groups.

Definition of a Database Availability Group (DAG)

With Exchange Server 2010, all high availability solutions that came with Exchange Server 2007 (called LCR, CCR, SCR and SCC) are moved to one feature called “Database Availability Group” (or in short, DAG).

DAG is available on Exchange Server 2010 Standard and Enterprise Edition. It does however rely on Windows Server Clustering which is available on Windows Server 2008 Enterprise or higher, you need the Enterprise Edition on the underlying Windows Operating System but with Exchange you only need the Standard Edition.

With this new feature you have the possibility to create database copies from each Exchange mailbox database to 15 other Exchange Servers running the Mailbox Server role using log file shipping. So Windows Server 2008 can handle that number of Mailbox Servers using the Failover Clustering Feature because it supports up to 16 servers per cluster.

DAG provides automatic failover; in case of an error on the database running on one mailbox server there is an automatic switch to another server although hosting the same database. In addition you can configure a “self-healing” feature for the databases so that in the event of an error in one database you can re-replicate all data back to that database which is in error state.

Database Availability Group Deployment Plans

If you are thinking of moving to the new DAG feature, you should think of some more things that may come around during this migration project:

  1. Mailbox Server high availability is based on DAG and DAG is based on Windows Failover Clustering You cannot provide high availability for Client Access or Hub Transport on the same machine because these roles can only be set to high availability using Network Load Balancing (NLB)
  2. You need to provide cluster functionality in your environment This means you need to create a separate heartbeat LAN.

Based on the facts above, providing real high availability means you should have to think of the following server structure:

  • 2 x Domain Controllers
  • 2 x Exchange Mailbox Servers for DAG
  • 2 x Exchange Servers with Client Access and Hub Transport within a Network Load Balancing Cluster

Deployment and Migration

So if you move from an all-in-one server solution to a DAG based high availability solutions, you just need to perform the steps described below. You should however make sure that you are running these tasks during non-business hours, because you will have to restart the existing server more than once. In addition you are moving the Hub Transport and Client Access role to other servers which may result in disconnections and the risk of dropping email connections since your internal Exchange environment will not hold the queues during the unavailability of these features. I suggest placing Exchange Edge Servers in front of your messaging environment in the DMZ (also called Perimeter Network).

  1. Make sure that Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition or higher is installed (if not you need to run an in-place upgrade)
  2. Create a second dedicated Private LAN for the cluster heartbeat available to connect on both DAG servers
  3. Install the Windows Failover Clustering Role on the formerly single Exchange Server
  4. Configure the Failover Clustering feature on the server
  5. Configure the DAG feature on Exchange Server 2010
  6. Move all mailboxes from the old mailbox store to the new DAG based mailbox store
  7. Decommission the old non high available mailbox store

Now we have one Exchange Server running a DAG but not providing any high availability features at all.

We then need to prepare the new Exchange Servers for Client Access and Hub Transport as follows:

  1. Install Windows Server on both new servers (Standard Edition is enough, because it already provides Network Load Balancing)
  2. Configure Network Load Balancing on both servers
  3. Install the Exchange Server 2010 Client Access and Hub Transport role on both servers
  4. Configure Client Access and Hub Transport role to run in a network loading balancing environment
  5. Remove the Client Access and Hub Transport role from the formerly single Exchange Server

Afterwards we need to put the second mailbox server that will host the DAG in the future online, this will be done as follows:

  1. Install Windows Server Enterprise Edition on the new server
  2. Install Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Server Role on the new server
  3. Configure this new Exchange Server to host the DAG-Dabase(s)

After having finished all these tasks your Exchange Server 2010 messaging environment will run a highly available Exchange infrastructure. You never need to think of single server failures anymore. There is one thing you should not forget; make sure to add all your Exchange Servers into your backup infrastructure. In addition, you should think of placing 50% of the servers (this means one for each Exchange role) into your backup datacenter in another building. Window Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering is designed to support spread clusters even across subnets.


As you have seen in this article there is a supported solution with Exchange Server 2010 to move from a single server infrastructure to a new high available messaging solution without completely decommissioning the former single server totally. The migration path is smooth and easy to handle if you know what you are doing and you are running your “step-by-step” walkthrough discussed above.

For further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

America – s Top Architecture Schools 2016 #best #architecture #schools,future #of #architecture,top


America’s Top Architecture Schools 2016

RECORD presents the ratings of the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in U.S. schools, compiled by Design Intelligence.

Cornell University s architecture students occupy the new Milstein Hall, designed for the school s Ithaca, New York campus by Rem Koolhaas and OMA in 2011

Photo William Staffeld/AAP

November 19, 2015

RECORD s 2016 rankings of top architecture school programs, provided by Design Intelligence, the research arm of the Design Futures Council, comes amid good news that more women are being trained as architects. Women now compose 44 percent of those enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs. (In 2011, that percentage was 41 percent.)

At the same time, there is a growing debate about the value of architectural education. Enrollment of first-year architecture students dropped almost 20 percent over a five-year period ending in 2013, Frank J. Mruk III, associate dean at New York Institute of Technology s School of Architecture and Design, pointed out in an op-ed piece in the September 29 Wall Street Journal (WSJ ). Mruk argues that the drop comes from the outdated, costly and time- consuming qualification process and suggests developing a tiered system where architectural training will be specific to the skills and goals of the students.

Yet, according to executive director of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) Andrea Rutledge, the decrease could depend on any number of factors, including generational swings in student-aged populations. Rutledge also notes that the latest numbers drew from data released for the academic year 2013 14, when enrollment in accredited programs totaled 24,989. The results for 2014 15 will not be published until January 2016.

In another response to the WSJ essay, Marilys Nepomechie, president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, wrote that architecture and design schools are already increasing flexibility in their programs. Students can pursue a number of different options, including working toward registration while in school. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is considering proposals from over a dozen accredited architecture schools that want to offer this option.

In an interview accompanying the 2016 rankings, RECORD asked James P. Cramer, editor in chief of the publication DesignIntelligence (DI ) and the chairman of the Design Futures Council, to address these and other changes he sees confronting architectural education today.

The Top 10 Architecture Undergraduate Programs

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Rhode Island School of Design

University of Texas, Austin

Carnegie Mellon University

University of Southern California

Comparison of Previous Architecture Rankings:Undergraduate

The Top 10 Architecture Graduate Programs

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

University of California, Berkeley

University of Michigan

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Washington University, St. Louis

Comparison of Previous Architecture Rankings:Graduate

Click to the next page to view the Architecture Student Survey

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Recent Articles by Suzanne Stephens

Suzanne Stephens, a deputy editor of Architectural Record. has been a writer, editor, and critic in the field of architecture for several decades. She has Ph.D. in architectural history from Cornell University, and teaches a seminar in the history of architectural criticism in the architecture program of Barnard and Columbia colleges.

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