How To Measure the ROI of Moving To the Cloud

Technology News

One of the main drivers for cloud is cost. The technology is seen by many enterprises to be a way to run services more cheaply, partly because of the pay-as-you-go model and partly because of the shift from a capital expenditure cost model to one of operating expenses.  There are, however, instances where organisations have got the calculations wrong and ended up paying more, examples where savings have not been as high as expected and there are the large numbers who will have wondered whether they’ve made the right decision.

A major part of the problem is that it’s not easy to ascertain what the return of investment (ROI) is. The point of moving to cloud is to transform the business but that very transformation means it’s not always easy to see where savings can be made – or what additional costs there are.

As Alistair Maughan, partner at…

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Top 10 Myths About Flash Storage

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The use of flash storage in data centers is gathering a lot of momentum. The solid-state array market grew from about $240 million in 2012 to about $670 million in 2013, according to research from Gartner.  Strong growth is expected to continue: IDC predicts that the market for all-flash arrays will grow at a compound annual rate of almost 60% a year, bringing the overall market to more than $1.2 billion by 2015.

There is good reason for this gathering momentum. Legacy hard disk drive (HDD) solutions have performance limitations, particularly when it comes to IOPS. These limitations can affect the performance of critical applications—particularly among I/O-intense workloads such as online transaction processing (OLTP), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), high-performance computing and big data analytics.

Flash addresses some of the performance challenges of HDDs—especially when it comes to IOPS and latency—and flash prices have come down significantly during the past…

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Common Mistakes Made While Exchange Virtualization

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Three Mistakes WHAT COULD GO wrong when you virtualize exchange? A lot. But these problems aren’t exclusive to Exchange; issues can happen when consolidating any complex application. No matter which vendor you choose, plan the project thoroughly to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Ignoring best practices. You may not like to read the directions, but when it comes to best practices, it’s a mistake to skip that step. Microsoft won’t support your virtual exchange infrastructure if you don’t follow best practices, and you’ll likely suffer poor performance or an outage.

2. Improperly sizing virtual machines. If you don’t size virtual machines (VMs) correctly, Exchange VMs could suffer from poor performance or a downtime could occur. After sizing Exchange VMs, continue to monitor performance carefully. Microsoft’s best practices guide and Exchange 2010 on VMware—Designing and Sizing Examples contain specific sizing information for each VM running various Exchange roles.

3. Using undersized…

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IT administrators may think that Web-based applications free them of management responsibilities, but that’s not the case.

Technology News

security1Web apps: Promises and problems

The promise of Web applications is great. Along with shifting processing loads from local resources to Web servers, there are no fat apps to maintain on users’ desktops, no virtual applications to package and no management requirements, right? Wrong. All the features and capabilities that make today’s browsers so powerful and complex also cause some problems for IT.

Plug-ins and helper applications first became popular with Netscape Navigator in the 1990s. Modern browsers are dependent on plug-ins such as QuickTime, Java applets, Adobe Shockwave player, Microsoft Silverlight and many others. Without them, the rich Web experience we know today wouldn’t exist.

In addition to plug-in requirements, specific browser requirements cause issues. In 2001, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) with Windows XP. Microsoft made a strong push for IE6 because it allowed Web apps to read and write to the local system, giving them capabilities…

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Tips for Avoiding Online Security Traps

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IT professionals know the damage that malware can cause, but everyday users are often unaware of the security threats lurking on the web, in their email and on their smartphones. Even the best malware defense can be rendered useless due to careless user behavior. To defend against data breaches, it’s critical to educate your users about the security threats and cybercrime tactics they face.

User training is a best practice used by organizations of all sizes to bolster their cyber defense. Take a page from their playbook. Educate your users and help them understand the critical role they play in preventing data breaches. When developing your user security education, lay a strong foundation by covering the basics first. Keep it simple; give users the information they need to understand the increasingly sophisticated nature of the threats they face.

We have compiled these 10 tips to help your users avoid common…

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Five challenges facing Microsoft in 2015

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Everything is changing as far as Microsoft is concerned. Not only is the company itself under new leadership, it is having to adapt to a rapidly changing ecosystem where consumers expect free operating systems, and the PC has given ground to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Not only is the company itself under new leadership, it is having to adapt to a rapidly changing ecosystem where the PC has given ground to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Here are five of the biggest challenges facing the company over the coming year.

1. Getting people excited about Windows 10

Microsoft as a whole is highly reliant on the Windows platform, but interest in new Windows releases has waned in both the consumer and enterprise segments. New releases bring some user interface tweaks and a handful of new features, but on the whole there’s little that Windows 8…

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Unpatched servers still enabling exploitation of PHP vulnerability

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server room

PHP vulnerability originally disclosed in March 2012 – and revised in October 2013 after a hacker found an easier way to take advantage of the exploit – is still impacting users after all these years, according to researchers with Imperva.

The reason why is simple: people are not patching the vulnerability, Barry Shteiman, director of security strategy with Imperva, told on Wednesday.

More than 80 percent of all websites on the internet are written in the server-side scripting and general-purpose programming language, he said, adding that about 16 percent of those sites are vulnerable to the exploit.

About 244 million websites use PHP, according to usage stats provided by Netcraft for January 2013.

“The vulnerability enables a remote attacker to execute arbitrary commands on a web server with PHP versions 5.4.x, 5.3.x before 5.4.2 or 5.3.12.,” according to an Imperva advisory posted on Tuesday. “The simple, straightforward explanation is…

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