Only about 20 percent of Americans think Macs are vulnerable to viruses, compared to more than half who describe PCs as "vulnerable" or "very vulnerable" to attack by viruses, according to Alex Stamos, a security analyst at iSec Partners.
Stories by Kevin Fogarty
IT people who try to secure mobile devices in a big company face three big conceptual problems.
When VMware announced last week that it would loosen the radical change in price structure it announced only a month ago, it was doing more than mollifying a few disgruntled customers. It was responding to a revolt among customers, analysts say, even at large companies that rarely considered competing virtualization platforms due to VMware's lead in the technology.
If two technology trends were ever made for each other, at least in vendor marketing materials and generically simple diagrams of IT infrastructure, they are the consumerisation of IT and desktop virtualisation.
Analysts who study desktop virtualisation say many of its use cases fit neatly into problem areas that their client companies face, such as the consumerisation of IT. End users who insist on using non-standard or unapproved computing devices, such as tablets and iOS or Android smartphones, make demands on the IT department, the remote-access infrastructure and the IT budget, according to Ian Song, research analyst at IDC. When the same user wants to use two, three or four computing devices for different reasons, the situation can quickly get out of hand.
Until recently, almost no IT industry vendor or analyst questioned the assumption that nearly all kinds of virtualisation deliver quick, significant cost savings compared to computing only in the physical world.
Virtualizing and consolidating data-center servers provides such clear a financial benefit that there are few companies of any size, in any industry that shouldn't virtualize at least some of their servers and applications, industry analysts say. But companies that start virtualization projects looking for cost savings, without planning for a second phase of migration that requires spending more on new tools than the project might save in short-term costs, will get stuck in phase one -- saving money on hardware, but getting only a fraction of the benefit of the virtualization products they've bought, analysts add.
The cost benefit of getting as many as 10 or 20 virtual servers for the price of one physical box drove many companies to migrations that covered as much as 25 percent to 35 percent of all the servers targeted for conversion, before hitting "VM stall," a virtual halt in migrations caused by the most subtle cost- and organizational issues that affect virtualization projects directly, according to James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester research. "Companies can get close to the 50 percent point [in a P2V migration] still using the same thinking they did in the physical world," Staten says. "Obvious costs like licenses, how many machines you can take out of an environment, how many VMs you can put on a host all make one cost picture. Beyond that you get into issues about performance and capacity management, and the amount of effort needed for support -- a lot of companies don't take those fully into account."
Neither cloud computing nor virtual servers were intended as agents that would change traditional IT organisations, says Rachel Dines, a researcher at Forrester Research who specializes in IT infrastructure and management. But IT organisation and management issues are turning out to be nearly as important as the technology itself to making large-scale virtual-server migrations effective.
More than three quarters of U.S. companies virtualize at least some of their x86-based servers, but few get their full money's worth out of virtualization efforts--due to management blunders, analysts say.
The biggest misconceptions focus around three issues: how closely to manage virtual machines, how to plan the capacity and workload of the virtual infrastructure and how to go beyond technical configuration to keep operational costs from running out of control, according to analysts.
Cloud computing platforms aim to improve IT's ability to be agile. For instance, cloud platforms let you quickly build and install applications, and change the resources underneath later to make them run better.
Despite years of marketing pressure and products that are simpler to use and more widely available, desktop virtualisation hasn't taken off to the extent that vendors and analysts expected even a few years ago.
How quickly are end-user companies adopting public cloud computing platforms as a key part of their IT strategies and infrastructures? That depends on who you ask.
Spending on public cloud services is growing quickly - from 4 percent of overall IT spending in 2009 to 12 percent during 2014, a rate six times that of traditional systems, according to IDC. Gartner estimates cloud spending already accounts for 10 percent of IT spending.
A recent study from application integration/app hosting company Hubspan added to the pile of research showing that a significant percentage of corporate IT people are "confused" about both cloud computing technology and its potential benefits.
CEOs and the technologists who work for them like to say the applications they rely on -- especially the kind custom-written by specialists at banks and investment companies with fortunes behind them -- are safe as houses.
Long ago, when servers still came one to a box, "sysadmins" spent all their time running from one machine to another, with boxes of tools and utilities designed to squeeze out every bit of performance and stability from physical servers.
Now, virtual servers outnumber the physical in most datacentres. And neither budgets nor toolboxes are over-provisioned with resources for fine-tuning virtual infrastructures.
To most people, 'Ocean Services' probably conjures visions of boogie boards, sun umbrellas and bringing the drinks without getting sand in the glass.
To Matson Navigation CIO Peter Weis, it means logistics, and the need to gather, analyze and coordinate information so his customers can monitor the location, condition and progress of finished goods in one container on one freighter in the South Pacific, more easily than they'd be able to check on a new phone battery being delivered by FedEx.
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