How VMware vSphere licensing changes could affect you

changes-aheadIt’s almost the end of the road for some VMware products. After June 30, organizations will be unable to purchase licenses for three VMware offerings:

  • vSphere Enterprise
  • vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) Standard
  • vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) Enterprise

Though your organization can’t purchase new licenses for these products after that date, you do have several options moving forward. Let’s review. Continue Reading…

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How E-Rate funding can help schools and libraries secure their wireless networks

erate securitySchool districts across the country just wrapped up the application process for the next round of E-Rate funding, while libraries still have a few weeks until the deadline. As the adoption of mobile devices, tablets, virtual reality, and 3D printers adds pressure to their wireless capabilities, many are planning to expand their networks through the E-Rate program.

But as they do, they should keep in mind that schools and libraries can be breeding grounds for viruses and bugs – security bugs, that is. A growing wireless network poses additional challenges to IT staff, who must think about security as funding helps expand their network. Continue Reading…

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Prove it or lose it: Why proof of concepts are a must do for many IT projects

Proof of conceptFew of us would buy a car without first taking it for a test drive. But this is exactly what organizations do when they purchase new technology without completing a Proof of Concept (POC).

In the IT realm, a POC tests how potentially disruptive technology interacts or integrates with an existing environment. These experiments can give an organization the confidence to adopt new and emerging technologies, or fair warning for what challenges must be solved first.

While you don’t need a POC to buy some new laptops, you should test any significant implementation you’re planning. Here’s why. Continue Reading…

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Ransomware 101: What it is and how to protect yourself

Ransomware
Ransomware was once a blip on the cyber security radar, but times have changed: Ransomware attacks grew nearly 500 percent, to 3.8 million attacks, from 2014 to 2015.

Ransomware has been headline news ever since hospitals became big targets. One survey found that only 18 percent of hospitals haven’t been hit with ransomware attacks. But health care isn’t alone: Police departments, schools, and churches are all seeing ransomware attacks grow in frequency. Still, some organizations fail to protect themselves or are simply unaware of the threat ransomware poses. Continue Reading…

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What you need to know about SQL 2016 licensing

SQL licensing changesSQL 2016 was released on June 1 and licensing will remain mostly consistent for customers; however, there are a few changes that organizations must consider when purchasing or migrating to SQL 2016.

At a high level, there are three differences in licensing SQL 2016:

  • Reduction in SQL 2016 Edition options.
  • New license grant rules for migrating from SQL BI Servers to SQL Enterprise Servers.
  • A simplified virtual core licensing calculation to align with physical core models.

Compared to the SQL 2014 license models, this round of changes is less complex, but it will still have an impact on your organization. Let’s break down each of these adjustments and how to proceed. Continue Reading…

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Next-gen mobile computing: Thinking beyond BYOD

HP on thinking beyond BYODThink about how new technologies have changed the way we consume music over the past 50 years. From vinyl to cassette tapes, from CDs to MP3s, and now to digital services like Spotify and Pandora, technological advancements can disrupt entire industries and significantly improve user experiences.

Similarly, the way we do business evolves in less than a generation. Not too long ago, IT managers were faced with the concept of BYOD and the increased complexity it carried due to the proliferation of mobile devices entering the business environment.

Today, commercial mobility involves much more. Employees expect a different style of computing to get work done and make their jobs easier. Every organization needs a mobile strategy that’s versatile enough to address the massive shift in where and how we work. To be truly productive, an organization’s strategy must rely on quality and durable devices, broad security controls, and policies that allow IT to easily manage devices.

There are four components of a smart mobile strategy that moves past BYOD. As you evaluate next-gen mobility solutions, keep these four insights in mind: Continue Reading…

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Staff picks for the week of June 6, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralEvery day brings new innovations or developments in technology, and this week was no different. Catch up on what’s new in tech with our staff picks!

Microsoft finds cancer clues in search queries (Read by Camillia S.)

Microsoft scientists are making strides in e-health by using search engine queries as a way to possibly identify users suffering from pancreatic cancer. Researchers sifted through search data to determine which users may have been already diagnosed and then worked backwards by examining previous queries indicating possible symptoms. With this information, scientists aim to detect cancer quicker and more easily than a trip to the doctor. The data used was anonymous so there was no way to contact the users to determine if they have cancer or if they were searching on behalf of someone else, but researchers are confident that they’re onto something. I believe our online habits are quite telling and the earlier cancer is detected the better, so anything helps! Continue Reading…

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This is why every organization needs adaptive and autonomous security

McAfee adaptive threat preventionMore than 300 new security threats are detected every minute. Ransomware and malware are growing at double-digit rates, and mobile malware grew 72 percent in the last quarter of 2015. In the face of advanced targeted attacks, full vector protection and a timely response are major challenges for security teams across every sector. Most organizations rely on a multi-vendor, siloed security infrastructure in which products don’t communicate with one another, allowing attacks to penetrate gaps and invade a network.

IT security staff shortages and a lack of automated processes create these inefficiencies and lapses in protection. Plus, existing security infrastructures lack integration of the inspection, intelligence gathering, analytics, and enforcement components of an enterprise security architecture. These essential elements constitute the underpinnings of cybersecurity best practices known as the protect, detect, and correct process of incident response.

What’s the solution? Integration. Instead of buying the entire “best of” list (the best end point protection, best firewall, best IPS), organizations should be adopting security systems that talk to each other, regardless of the vendor. Knowing how that works and why it’s necessary will help you further strengthen your IT security. Continue Reading…

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What do you do when a virtual machine becomes a noisy neighbor?

Virtualized application performanceThe #1 pain point in the data center is poor performance. That’s what we found from our study of 1,000 data center professionals, who every day watch virtual machines (VM) conflict with databases, slow each other down, and eat up hours spent fine-tuning storage and tackling trouble tickets.

A huge contributor to this performance pain is what’s called “the noisy neighbor problem” — a VM consuming too many resources at the expense of others.

The problem stems from LUNs, the conventional storage groups made up of dozens or even hundreds of VMs. When one of them gets noisy, demanding more than its share of performance reserves, it slows down its neighbors and throws the entire LUN into chaos.

Because they’re built on that LUN architecture, most storage environments running VMs face this challenge. Stopping these rogue VMs is difficult because they’re nearly invisible to scrutiny and correction.

Here’s how you put the issue to rest and guarantee every VM’s performance: isolation. By eliminating the LUN and giving every VM its own neighborhood through VM-aware storage, you can more precisely control the resources apps can demand. Continue Reading…

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