Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Intronis.
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Recent Posts

Developers emerge as IT channel amplifiers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 27, 2016 11:44:00 AM

In the past year or so, just about every provider of on-premise software has shifted their focus from traditional resellers to developers that invoke their software as a service using application programming interfaces (APIs).

For many traditional resellers that shift is perplexing. After all, software installed on premise usually costs thousands of dollars. In contrast, developers typically only want to part with a couple hundred dollars if the vendor is lucky. The difference is that there are thousands of developers, but there may only be hundreds of customers willing to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for an enterprise license.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Navigating the IT security divide

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 22, 2016 10:10:16 AM

One of the great paradoxes of IT security is that the people being protected by IT security technologies have more faith in them than the IT professionals that deploy and manage those technologies.

A recent survey of 1,110 senior executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of VMware finds that 40 percent of IT executives expect a major attack on their organization to be successful within the next three years. In contrast, only 25 percent of the C-level executives felt the same way.

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Topics: IT Security

Bare metal servers gain momentum in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 20, 2016 9:53:05 AM

Bare metal servers are a growing niche of the public cloud space, and IT service providers should start paying more attention to it as the nature of the application workloads being deployed in the cloud continues to evolve.

Today, a bare metal server is most often used by a Big Data application or some other type of workload, such as gaming, where the performance penalties associated with virtual servers is just too high. The dominant provider of bare metal servers in the cloud is IBM, which acquired SoftLayer back in 2013. One of the major things that differentiated SoftLayer is that it provided support for both bare metal and virtual servers.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

FTC lays down the ransomware law

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 15, 2016 11:50:04 AM

The chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is advising businesses that the FTC might hold them accountable for not fixing vulnerabilities commonly exploited by cybercriminals launching ransomware attacks.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says the actual ransom demand is usually $500 to $1,000 but can be as high as $30,000. Based on data from the FBI, the U.S. government estimates there are now 4,000 ransomware attacks being launched per day, representing a 300 percent increase over the 1,000 ransomware attacks per day in 2015.

Even more concerning for the average organization, Ramirez also revealed that thus far the FTC has pursued more than 60 enforcement actions against companies that have been hit by ransomware. That may seem like a government effort to punish the victim of a crime, but the FTC is starting to make it clear that the careless handling of data is indeed a potential crime punishable by fines that far exceed the ransom being demanded by hackers.

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Topics: IT Security

Internet regulation starts to rear its head

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 13, 2016 9:39:31 AM

Telecommunications carriers have been making a handsome profit marking up audio and videoconferencing services for years. At the same time, though, the high cost of delivering those services resulted in limited adoption. Now a wide variety of online service providers deliver most of these same capabilities at a fraction of the cost.

One of the main reasons this has been possible is because providers of these online services are leveraging the Internet, which is not nearly has heavily regulated by various governments as traditional phone lines. Now the European Union is signaling that it wants to level that playing field by applying some of the same standards of availability and security to providers of online services as it does traditional carriers.

Arguably, this is a step backward in terms of making audio and video conferencing ubiquitous, and it remains to be seen if other governments will follow suit. But the one thing it does illustrate is that line between what a carrier does and what any number of companies that delivery network services via the cloud do is getting blurrier by the day. More significantly, the rise of 5G networking by the end of the decade is likely to erase that line altogether.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Ransomware Highlights the Need to Manage Data Protection as a Process

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 8, 2016 11:26:31 AM

Under the heading of an ill wind always blows some good, the rise of ransomware has certainly moved data protection up the IT agenda. There are very few IT organizations these days that are not at the very least considering what they might need to do should all the data the organization depends on suddenly be become encrypted by cybercriminals demanding money for the keys needed to decrypt that data.

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Topics: Ransomware

Cloud First is in the eye of the beholder

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 6, 2016 2:22:12 PM

The term Cloud First has become such a standard refrain that most IT organizations now take for gospel, but what Cloud First actually means to any given IT organization varies widely.

A global survey of 1,200 IT professionals conducted by 451 Research finds that 38 percent of IT organizations have an official Cloud First policy in terms of where workloads should run. But a much larger percentage are pushing workloads into the cloud. The survey suggests that 60 percent of all workloads will be running on some form of cloud by the middle of 2018.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Rise of Globalization Creates IT Imperative for Business Leaders

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Globalization is one of those classic double-edged swords that cuts both ways. Most companies in the U.S. tend to think of globalization as an opportunity to expand into new markets. But, as it turns out many companies in those emerging markets view globalization as an opportunity to enter larger, and  more established markets.

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Topics: IT trends

Coming to terms with IT support in a multi-cloud world

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 30, 2016 9:54:23 AM

For the better part of the past decade the debate over what percentage of application workloads will wind up running in the cloud versus on premise has been fierce. At the moment, the vast majority of application workloads still run on premise. But, it’s also apparent that a much larger percentage of new application workloads are being deployed in the cloud.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

OpenStack starts to come of age

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 25, 2016 10:37:11 AM

OpenStack initially emerged as a platform for running a new generation of “cloud native” applications on premise as an alternative to VMware. A few years later it became apparent that carriers and cloud service providers (CSPs) were pouring a lot of engineering resources into OpenStack because using commercial software at that level of scale is simply cost prohibitively.

These days, OpenStack is being used mainly by developers and engineers as a platform for creating new applications. It still takes a fair amount of expertise to stand up an OpenStack cloud. As a result, there is still quite a bit of VMware software running on premise in the enterprise because from a management perspective the VMware environment is significantly more mature.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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